In November I chose to read "Ticker" by Lisa Mantchev. Here is the book description from Amazon:
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
Now, all this takes place in a steampunk universe. In my mind I kept envisioning the town like "Howl's Moving Castle" with more gadgetry. The author's writing style took me a bit to get used to. She writes a great narrative but some of the words felt like they were picked from a thesaurus just because, not for any great reason.
The characters are witty and well-developed. I particularly enjoyed the quick banter between the main character and her love interest.
Another perk: the book is totally clean. No language. No sex. No gore. Yeah, there's one part that made me a little squeamish (surgery after-effects) but it wasn't even that bad.
All in all, I liked it. The story was intriguing and the steampunk elements added a touch of whimsy. If that is your sort of thing, go for it.