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Review: Mechanica (Betsy Cornwell)

MechanicaNicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

This book has everything!

What can I say about Mechanica? It exceeded all expectations. You can't tell from here, but that cover glows. It's beautiful and perfectly captures this tale.

Plus, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella with magic and fairy folk? AND a strong, determined heroine? OMGee.

Mechanica- or Nic- is great. She shares many similarities with the original, neglected and poorly treated Cinderella, but she is also unique. She's witty, brilliant with machines, and has a purpose for her life that she is working so hard to achieve. I love that. There will be no waiting around for a prince to save her (or will there be?).

I am not sure what it says about me to love Jules as much as I do. The way the author described him gave him so much personality that I imagined him like a real animal. I wanted a tiny pet horse for myself.

I loved the writing in Mechanica. Every page was filled with prose that created such an extraordinary world. I wanted to be sucked in to Nic's life and experience her world. The descriptions were rich and dripping with detail, but they weren't wordy. It was the perfect combination. I flew through this book because it had me captured from the start. I did not want to stop reading. From what I can tell, there might be a sequel? It sure ended that way and my hopes are high that we will get to revisit this land and characters soon.  


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable r…