Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Note: This ARC was provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mechanica is a story by Betsy Cornwell that can fall between children's and young adult (YA) fiction. It is more of a re-imagination rather than a re-telling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, so expect the unexpected with this book. Nicolette has just turned sixteen and is given a letter from her late mother, one that opens a new world of possibilities for her, a world away from being at the beck and call of her stepmother and stepsisters. Nick is a gifted engineer, having been blessed with the same talent her mother had, and she creates a host of different inventions that showcase both her innate creativity and ingenuity.
There are some elements from the original tale that carry over her but with a fresh take from the author. Nick is an independent girl who would rather rely on herself than on having some prince riding in on his white horse to save the day. I applaud the creativity and the feminist touch that the author used with the story and characters. This is the kind of book that you need to go into without any preconceived notions, especially since there appear to be quite a number of people who were comparing it to another reworked Cinderella novel but there were readers who made sure to point out that these were two different stories.
While the story at its core was interesting, I did find the book overwrought with tedious information and details about Nick's life that the urge to skim was tempting at times. I'm the kind of reader that would prefer a shorter book that had all the essentials to put forth an engaging story and characters you could fall in love with rather than one that was overly long and filled with stuff that I could have done without. I truly felt that the book had the potential to be something truly great but missed the mark. Still, I loved Nick's individuality and the basic story line. Those things considered, Mechanica gets 3.5 stars out of five. ♥
Release Date: 04 August 2015
Date Read: 02 August 2015
Learn more about Betsy Cornwell here.