5 Things I Loved about Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Posted on July 17, 2017 «
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Book Review
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell or
5 Things I Loved about Mechanica

  1. The cover. Back in December, Amazon had a sale on young adult literature. I went on a one-click binge, probably the ONLY one I ever been one, and I picked up this gem because the cover is so beautiful. Just enjoy it for a moment.

    Look at the details. What’s not in color vs. what is in color. See the subtle hint at the steampunk elements? How about the butterfly? Beautiful. book review mechanica betsy cornell

  2. Nicolette’s mother and her drive to educate her daughter. Nearly from the beginning we learn that Nicolette’s mother is unique. She has the skill to animate machines and bring joy to people’s lives. Her creations are magical. Nicolette’s mother strives to pass that love on to her daughter even though working with machines isn’t necessarily women’s work.

  3. Nicolette. She doesn’t sit back and wait for her prince to rescue her. Once her initial discovery is made and she begins to work the skills her mother had been teaching her, she goes about concocting and carrying out her own rescue plan.

  4. The steampunk and fae elements. There’s some backstory here and Cornwell shares a bit of it through Nicolette’s history lessons and bedtime stories, but I have a feeling it’s a deeper story. I felt hints of it as Nicolette worked on her own mechanical creations and in some of the conversations the characters have. I want to know more. I want to see more!

  5. The fae idea of what makes a family. I latched on to this idea so strongly due to my own life experiences. A core belief of the fae is that friends can make a family. I’m not sure I’ve encountered this message so strongly in any other book I’ve read. I’m happy this message plays key role in the story’s ending.

Is Mechanica perfect? No, it’s not. Many of the secondary characters fit the mold of the known Cinderella story and unlike Nicolette, they don’t strive to break the mold, but sit comfortably inside it. And the ending felt a bit rushed. But for me, the magic of Mechanica resides in point number 5. That is the message that sticks with me and the top reason I will treasure this story.

The Quick Book Review

5 Things I Loved about Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell


Author: Betsy Cornwell
Published on: 2015
Pages: 304
Series: Mechanica #1
Genres: fairy tales & folklore, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

About Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is a New York Times bestselling author living in west Ireland. She is the story editor and a contributing writer at Parabola, and her short-form writing includes fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation and has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Zahir Tales, The Violence Prevention Initiative Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from Smith College.

Mechanica was published in 2015 and has featured on several best of the year lists, including Amazon.com’s Best Young Adult Books and USA Today‘s Must-Read Romances. In a starred review, Kirkus called this retelling of Cinderella “a smart, refreshing alternative to stale genre tropes.” Mechanica is a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee for 2016.

Betsy’s debut novel, Tides, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, a place in the Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, and a Bisexual Book Awards nomination.

Betsy has two more novels forthcoming from Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in 2017 and 2018.

(from GoodReads)




2 responses to “5 Things I Loved about Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

  1. Not that I needed more convincing after our chat on Saturday, but I am MORE convinced to pick this one up. I’m excited about the fact that you really get to see her relationship with her mom. I’m sure that makes the loss more poignant! And the fae. Yes, very excited about that. Couldn’t agree more about the family. Thanks for putting it on my radar!