100 books like Mechanica

By Betsy Cornwell,

Here are 100 books that Mechanica fans have personally recommended if you like Mechanica. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Slay

Jamie Jo Hoang Author Of My Father, The Panda Killer

From my list on loving what makes you different.

Who am I?

All my life, I’ve struggled with accepting who I am. It’s no secret that the Vietnam War was unpopular in America; as such, I spent my adolescence hiding who I was. Literature like this didn’t exist when I was a kid. If it had, I think I would’ve seen myself differently. As a writer, I explore similar themes in my work and highlight the importance of discussing how our childhood experiences (good and bad) shape us. Uniformity is a destroyer of identity; my mission is to show how loving what makes us different allows us to love the differences we see in others.

Jamie's book list on loving what makes you different

Jamie Jo Hoang Why did Jamie love this book?

This book is fire. For character arcs to work, the main character has to start with a flaw and then fix it by the end, but Kiera, a gaming programmer, is confident about her skills from the beginning.

I love that she knows exactly what her game is about, and she’s not about to let the outside world redefine it incorrectly. The flaw, in this case, is the world’s perception of her game. Today, the gaming world is still heavily male-dominated, so this book about a girl loving her craft, which, in turn, reinforces her confidence, is always high on my list of recommendations.

By Brittney Morris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Slay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

'We are different ages, genders and traditions ... but tonight we all SLAY'

Black Panther meets Ready Player One. A fierce teen game developer battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online role-playing card game, SLAY.

No one knows Kiera is the game developer - not even her boyfriend,…


Book cover of Super Fake Love Song

Sara Fujimura Author Of Faking Reality

From my list on teens who are builders and makers.

Who am I?

I write books for intelligent, adventurous, globally-minded teens who aren’t afraid to fall in love with someone different from themselves. I started as a journalist, so it is no surprise that my YA books contain a lot of facts to go along with the fiction. Whether you want to know about Japan (Tanabata Wish), the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (Breathe), what it’s like to be an Olympic-caliber skater (Every Reason We Shouldn’t), or how unscripted television works (Faking Reality), I take readers on swoony journeys to unusual places. So, if you like books that educate as they entertain, I hope you’ll check this book list—plus my books—out.

Sara's book list on teens who are builders and makers

Sara Fujimura Why did Sara love this book?

I know Sunny Dae would be fast friends with my book’s Dakota. Not only would they bond over using power tools for geeky purposes, but they are also both that rare type of 50-50, right brain-left brain maker who brings an artistic flourish to everything they build. I played bass guitar in a garage band during high school, so it was fun watching Sunny (and his reluctant D&D buddies) attempt to become their school’s hottest new band so that he could win the girl. Of course, his lie comes back to bite him hard, but I love a good reinvention story, especially when at least part of the lie eventually becomes the character’s new truth. 

By David Yoon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Super Fake Love Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An NPR Book Concierge Pick of the Year

“The fun of this engrossing read is that underneath the slapstick lies a finely nuanced meditation on how we perform as ourselves.” —New York Times Book Review
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of Frankly in Love comes a moving young adult novel about friendship, identity, and acceptance. Perfect for fans of John Green and To All the Boys I've Love Before.

When Sunny meets Cirrus, he can't believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakenly thinks Sunny plays guitar, he accidentally winds up telling her he's the…


Book cover of If I Fix You

Sara Fujimura Author Of Faking Reality

From my list on teens who are builders and makers.

Who am I?

I write books for intelligent, adventurous, globally-minded teens who aren’t afraid to fall in love with someone different from themselves. I started as a journalist, so it is no surprise that my YA books contain a lot of facts to go along with the fiction. Whether you want to know about Japan (Tanabata Wish), the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (Breathe), what it’s like to be an Olympic-caliber skater (Every Reason We Shouldn’t), or how unscripted television works (Faking Reality), I take readers on swoony journeys to unusual places. So, if you like books that educate as they entertain, I hope you’ll check this book list—plus my books—out.

Sara's book list on teens who are builders and makers

Sara Fujimura Why did Sara love this book?

All of Johnson’s books are swoony and awesome, but I love that Jill works in the family business—just like Dakota and Leo do—fixing cars in her family’s auto shop. It’s not something you see a lot of girls doing in YA books, but it makes so much sense in her bigger struggle of being a “fixer” in her everyday life. I have no mechanical skills, but boy, do I relate to trying to fix things that were never really my problem to solve in the first place. Teens with complicated family dynamics will appreciate seeing themselves portrayed in an authentic, nuanced way. Johnson leaves the reader with a powerful but gentle message that when faced with impossible situations, sometimes you need to fix yourself first.      

By Abigail Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Fix You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A young girl struggles to face an uncomfortable truth about her mother in this romantic contemporary YA novel for fans of Cammie McGovern & Morgan Matson.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. It used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even…


Book cover of We Regret to Inform You

Sara Fujimura Author Of Faking Reality

From my list on teens who are builders and makers.

Who am I?

I write books for intelligent, adventurous, globally-minded teens who aren’t afraid to fall in love with someone different from themselves. I started as a journalist, so it is no surprise that my YA books contain a lot of facts to go along with the fiction. Whether you want to know about Japan (Tanabata Wish), the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (Breathe), what it’s like to be an Olympic-caliber skater (Every Reason We Shouldn’t), or how unscripted television works (Faking Reality), I take readers on swoony journeys to unusual places. So, if you like books that educate as they entertain, I hope you’ll check this book list—plus my books—out.

Sara's book list on teens who are builders and makers

Sara Fujimura Why did Sara love this book?

This book is about the crushing disappointment that can derail overachievers when they don't reach their goals. What made this book unique, though, was the shenanigans Mischa and the “Ophelia Syndicate”—a group of tech-savvy girls flying under the school’s radar—get into as they solve a cyber-mystery at their elite prep school. I love watching girls own their “weirdness” and wielding it as their superpower. If you liked Never Have I Ever (Netflix), then you will enjoy this tale of an overachiever who learns some life-changing lessons and makes some new ride-or-die friends along the way.  

By Ariel Kaplan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Regret to Inform You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How far would you go to get into the right college?... Fans of Becky Albertalli will appreciate this sharp-witted, timely novel about an overachiever who stumbles into the middle of a college admissions scandal when she's rejected by every school she applied to.

Mischa Abramavicius is a walking, talking, top-scoring, perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. So when she's rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly résumé-padding extracurriculars (read: Students…


Book cover of An Unexpected Brew

Rennie St. James Author Of Azimuth

From my list on fantasy with characters you’ll love to love.

Who am I?

I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert who has a love/ hate relationship with people. I’m lucky to have wonderful family and friends, but social media baffles me and makes me question the future of mankind. I still can’t look away though. A degree in history, a love of psychology, and being a writer definitely foster my people-watching obsession. This fascination extends to fictional characters. Plot twists and world building are fantastic, but it is cheering for a character that pulls me in and keeps me hooked. As I’m also a moody reader, I love to pick the right character story to suit my mood! 

Rennie's book list on fantasy with characters you’ll love to love

Rennie St. James Why did Rennie love this book?

Fairy tale retellings are another favorite of mine and I enjoyed this one as a light, frothy fun read. Part of the reason it worked well was Arnessa. She makes a great Cinderella by working hard and dreaming of more. Yes, there are definitely some family issues and a cute guy too. It doesn’t hurt that you can order a shot of luck at the magical coffee shop! If you need a pick-me-up during darker times, give this sweet read a chance!

By J.E. Mueller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Unexpected Brew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A modern magical retelling of the classic Cinderella tale

After years of slaving beneath her step-mom's rule, Arnessa longs for something more.

She dreams of leaving her small town to attend a university where she can train to master her magic. Her stepmother denies this dream.

When all hope appears lost, a charming stranger enters her life, offering to guide Amessa in her studies, giving the teen confidence to stand up for herself.

An Unexpected Brew is part of a fairytale universe - inspirational tales filled with magic, rising hope, and personal discovery. These four separate adventures can be read…


Book cover of Little, Big

Snowden Wright Author Of American Pop

From my list on multi-generational family saga soap operas.

Who am I?

Soap operas may have no actual relation to soap—the term comes from radio dramas that were sponsored by soap companies—but they’re certainly related to opera, full of melodrama and grandiosity. With my second novel, a multi-generational family saga, my goal was to write a literary soap opera. I wanted it to be finely crafted, attuned to language and characterization, but also dishy, riddled with heightened drama, vivid personalities, and theatrical events. Below are five literary soap operas I studied while writing my own.

Snowden's book list on multi-generational family saga soap operas

Snowden Wright Why did Snowden love this book?

The same way hearing “soap opera” used as a pejorative upsets me so much I want to fake my own death, frame my estranged father for murder, and wrest control of his business empire, hearing “fairy tale” used that way makes me want to wave a wand and turn the detractors of science fiction and fantasy into horny toads.

John Crowley’s Little, Big, winner of the World Fantasy Award, is not only a fairy tale with actual fairies, but also one that’s an actual tale. So many novels described as literary forget to tell a story. This is not one of them. In Little, Big, you’ll meet the charismatic Drinkwater family; I would say more, but it’s best if you see for yourself where this tale takes them.

By John Crowley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Little, Big as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edgewood is many houses, all put inside each other, or across each other. It's filled with and surrounded by mystery and enchantment: the further in you go, the bigger it gets.

Smoky Barnable, who has fallen in love with Daily Alice Drinkwater, comes to Edgewood, her family home, where he finds himself drawn into a world of magical strangeness.

Crowley's work has a special alchemy - mixing the world we know with an imagined world which seems more true and real. Winner of the WORLD FANTASY AWARD, LITTLE, BIG is eloquent, sensual, funny and unforgettable, a true Fantasy Masterwork.

Winner…


Book cover of Traitor's Masque

Ariele Sieling Author Of Midnight Wings

From my list on Cinderella retellings with a unique spin.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction and fantasy author with a love of fairytales. I enjoy genre-bending, genre-blending, and new takes on old stories. As a child, I had a book of fairytales illustrated with embroidered illustrations. In high school and college, when I had the opportunity, I always chose to read fairytales—I've even taken classes that exclusively explore fairytales. Now as an author, I’ve leaped feet first into fairytale retellings. My first series, Rove City, features fairytale retellings set in an intergalactic spaceship, and my second series is made up of collections of original fairytales. Next, I’m planning to take the original fairytales and turn them into my own retellings. 

Ariele's book list on Cinderella retellings with a unique spin

Ariele Sieling Why did Ariele love this book?

This story kicks off a series of fairytale retellings filled with intrigue and adventure by sweeping the main character into a world of complex political machinations. She’s offered an opportunity for freedom from her conniving and overbearing family—all she has to do is deliver a message in exchange. But it turns out, the message was more dangerous than she could have imagined. This Cinderella retelling is unique in that there isn’t much magic in it, but it is filled with mystery, conspiracy, and swirling political machinations.

By Kenley Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Traitor's Masque as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She has one job—attend a masqued ball and dance with a handsome prince.
What could possibly go wrong?

Everything, that’s what.

After years of submitting to her stepmother’s unreasonable demands, Trystan finally has a chance to be free. The promise of a new life, in exchange for her help. Simple, right? After all, the old woman has only asked for one night. One night, one beautiful gown, one dance… and one message to be delivered to a mysterious recipient.

It should be easy. Maybe even fun. Especially when she can slip away into the night after the dance, leaving no…


Book cover of In Darkling Wood

Jasbinder Bilan Author Of Asha and the Spirit Bird

From my list on magical lands you never knew you wanted to visit.

Who am I?

I was born in a stable close to the Himalayas in India. The family farm was buzzing with animals and one of the most wonderful was a wild monkey called Oma who adopted our family and insisted on living with us. This is where the magic in my life began. My Grandmother was the storyteller in my family, so even after we emigrated to England when I was only 18 months old, our house was filled with magical stories, many with roots in India. So when I became a children’s author it was this magic that I wanted to bring to my stories and it was this magic that drew me to reading.

Jasbinder's book list on magical lands you never knew you wanted to visit

Jasbinder Bilan Why did Jasbinder love this book?

Imagine if you could meet someone from the past without realising? This is what drew me to this magical book. When you are young there are things you just don’t question and this is what I was like. I saw things that adults would have said weren’t there. But I didn’t believe them. I only believed in the power of my imagination. For me anything could appear; a small creature under a tree in the garden or Santa’s sleigh flying through the sky at Christmas – it was all so real I could reach out and touch it. In Darkling Wood is one of those stories that wrap themselves around you and whisk you away, where you’ll leave believing in magic!

By Emma Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Darkling Wood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

For fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Jack Cheng’s See You in the Cosmos, here is “a haunting and poignant exploration of family, loss, and redemption” (Booklist, Starred Review).
 
   When Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother Nell’s house, there’s nothing good about it, except the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of the garden—but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace. She even finds a friend, a girl named Flo. But Flo doesn’t go to the local school, and no one in town has heard…


Book cover of Wicked Lovely

Michele Barrow-Belisle Author Of Fire and Ice

From my list on for surviving the Faerie Realm.

Who am I?

Author. Artist. Teacher. Faerie Changeling. My fascination with all things relating to the fantasy realms started as early as I can remember. I’ve studied in depth the lore and mythos of faeries, witches, elves, and vampires. There’s something so compelling about them, so it made sense I would grow up reading and writing about them. Now, as a full-time author, it remains my favorite subject to explore. The parallels between the world we see and the world of the unseen are enchanting. There is, after all, more to heaven and earth than meets the eye… and it’s in those unseen spaces in between that I find myself most at home.

Michele's book list on for surviving the Faerie Realm

Michele Barrow-Belisle Why did Michele love this book?

Dark and delicious. Two of the most apt words to describe this thrilling story. I adore the world Melissa created and the equally dark and delicious fae who populate it. There's a certain poetry between the characters, and I love how Aislinn learns to face her greatest fears, a skill that will serve anyone well when venturing into the dark and dangerous realm of the Fae. You'll be hooked into this story in no time because it grabs your interest from the very first page, a must for me to get invested in any story because I confess, I’m a little impatient that way. I also love the ink twist on it… and the side characters you’ll fall in love with, they will eventually all get their turn in the spotlight, which is the perfect reason to keep reading through the entire series… and to date, there are a lot…

By Melissa Marr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wicked Lovely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this cool, urban 21st century faery tale.

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world, and would blind her if they knew of her Sight.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the…


Book cover of Dust

Robert B. Sloan Author Of The Eagle, The Cave, and The Footbridge

From my list on Christian YA fantasy with messages of hope.

Who am I?

I am a university president, and I work daily among young people with very diverse stories, but one common theme is the brokenness we all share, whether as a product of our individual identities and histories, or simply the result of life’s cruel circumstances. Classic fantasy takes on the realities of evil, suffering, and brokenness, and in that imaginative process engages us deeply. But in so doing it thereby allows us to reimagine through story what our own possibilities and hopes for healing might be.

Robert's book list on Christian YA fantasy with messages of hope

Robert B. Sloan Why did Robert love this book?

In this story, Swanson seeks to answer the question: what would happen if Peter Pan was stranded in modern-day London? And what if he started to age? And what if he met a girl who didn’t realize she could create pixie dust? It captures the spirit of the original tale while also delving deeper into the lore of both Peter and Neverland itself. It was an exciting and creative read from beginning to end. I loved how it felt simultaneously nostalgic and new.

By Kara Swanson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the…


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