The premise of the book is unique (and will be somewhat confusing until you get yourself to focus). I never did completely grasp how kink springs truly worked or what they would have looked like. I kept imaging a contraption like a jack-in-the-box.
After 2/3s of the way through, I couldn't put it down. That being said, it takes a long time to pickup, I think mainly because it takes so much time to describe the world and its workings.
Here's a short summary:
So-called calorie companies own the exclusive rights to produce food. The rest of the world must purchase new seed from these companies year after year because the seeds can't reproduce, due to the calorie companies' want to make profit. Anderson is a "calorie man" posing as a factory overseer of some sorts. He wants to discover the hidden seed stock in Thailand that would be invaluable to his company, AgriGen. Other characters move into the novel: Emiko, Hock Seng, Jaidee, and Kanya. They help broaden the story outside of the original focus on Anderson, giving insight to politics and daily city life.
I agree with other reviewers that I did think the title was strange, as Emiko, the windup girl, is only one of the main characters. I thought it tied to epilogue of the book, in thinking about how everyone ended up. Bacigalupi left a perfect set up for a sequel.
I don't think this book is for everyone. The style of writing takes some time to get used to and the insertion of Thai words and customs makes it difficult to follow 100%, but I do complement the author for taking the copious amount of time to do research. Again, you may be scratching your head the first 50 pages or so, but it does become understandable.
Read it if you like science fiction and a dystopian future that takes a fresh angle. Ages 16+ because of graphic sexual violence.