I was nervous about this one. I requested the e-ARC for it and waited. And waited, and then decided it wasn't one I'd get to read before it came out, but that maybe I'd read it when it released. Then I got the email saying I could download it! But what if I'd built up my hopes and it wasn't that great and I'd been waiting and anxious for nothing??
I'm happy to announce: this one did not disappoint.
I downloaded this one and read the first quarter of it. Then I had to deal with reality, but being able to finish a book in a week for me is actually saying something huge. I didn't put this one down and pick up anything else. I didn't get bored.
This was the first Cinderella story I tried and it was almost perfect. This was also the first book I've read that would classify as "steampunk" because I was a little worried about how I'd feel about it. My worries were in vain. It was a great twist to be added.
What I loved:
- Mechanica was not named Ella! At all!
- While Nick usually didn't cause waves and was kind, she fought back when she could/when she really reached a breaking point. This was more realistic, I felt, than the Cinderella who never, ever complains.
- She did not need a man to make her dreams come true. She built her dreams from the ground up, on her own terms. She had help from some bugs, but who doesn't need a little assistance when you're in such a crappy place?
- The ending was damn near perfect. Not a typical happily ever after, but was exactly the kind of ending I love.
- The story is really more about friendship than romantic love and I think we need more of that in the teen genre.
- This book very briefly touches on the ideas behind other types of relationships, as opposed to just a monogamous heterosexual relationship.
- It's clean so I have no worries if I recommend it to anyone, regardless of which age of teen they fall into.
What I didn't love:
- There were a couple elements that were never explained.
- Some of the writing felt like fluff. Basically, the same sentences, or similarly written ones, were repeated throughout when it wasn't entirely necessary.
I would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a new, and very different, very feminist twist on Cinderella.
**I'd like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing an advanced reading copy of this text in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in any way.**