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My Mechanical Romance

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Opposites attract in this battle-robot-building YA romance from the NYT best-selling author of The Atlas Six. Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Opposites attract in this battle-robot-building YA romance from the NYT best-selling author of The Atlas Six. Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Bel—and Neelam, the only other girl on the team, doesn't seem to like her either.   Enter Mateo Luna, captain of the club, who recognizes Bel as a potential asset—until they start butting heads. Bel doesn’t care about Nationals, while Teo cares too much. But as the nights of after-school work grow longer and longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat-ready robot for the championship: they’ve made each other and the team better. Because girls do belong in STEM.   In her YA debut, Alexene Farol Follmuth, author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake), explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty. With an adorable, opposites-attract romance at its center and lines that beg to be read aloud, My Mechanical Romance is swoonworthy perfection.   A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


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Opposites attract in this battle-robot-building YA romance from the NYT best-selling author of The Atlas Six. Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Opposites attract in this battle-robot-building YA romance from the NYT best-selling author of The Atlas Six. Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Bel—and Neelam, the only other girl on the team, doesn't seem to like her either.   Enter Mateo Luna, captain of the club, who recognizes Bel as a potential asset—until they start butting heads. Bel doesn’t care about Nationals, while Teo cares too much. But as the nights of after-school work grow longer and longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat-ready robot for the championship: they’ve made each other and the team better. Because girls do belong in STEM.   In her YA debut, Alexene Farol Follmuth, author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake), explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty. With an adorable, opposites-attract romance at its center and lines that beg to be read aloud, My Mechanical Romance is swoonworthy perfection.   A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

30 review for My Mechanical Romance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zoe (Marauders version)

    im sorry, enemies to lovers in STEM? yes please

  2. 4 out of 5

    ale ♡

    "If I want the world to recognize what I am truly capable of, I have to show them." find my review also here Many thanks to Netgalley, Holiday House and Alexene Farol Follmuth aka Olivie Blake for the arc in exchange of an honest review! I practically devoured this book... Of course, if we don't count the times I stopped reading to go to do my homeworks, lol. I'll try to not to give spoilers because this book comes out next month and many of you want to know if it's good or what. And the "If I want the world to recognize what I am truly capable of, I have to show them." find my review also here Many thanks to Netgalley, Holiday House and Alexene Farol Follmuth aka Olivie Blake for the arc in exchange of an honest review! I practically devoured this book... Of course, if we don't count the times I stopped reading to go to do my homeworks, lol. I'll try to not to give spoilers because this book comes out next month and many of you want to know if it's good or what. And the truth is... I really fucking loved it. I still can't get my shit together and explain how much I loved this book. I spent the night thinking about it and how much I love nerds. Back in high school, I was in love with a nerd, the dude was hot and he was aware of it, but I didn't like him for it: it was because he was a fucking nerd, he was funny and cleveR AND OH MY FUCKING GOD, HE WAS AMAZING AND CHARMING WITH ME. And then, he played with my feelings for a year, and I returned the favor playing with him the next year. Sad, right? But I have good memories. Haha, don't mind me, I'm just trying to break the ice, lol. In any case, we're not here to talk about my failed and inexistent and funny love life. Those are jokes for another day. When I knew this book is written by the same woman who wrote The Atlas Six, I was hesitant. I started TAS a couple months ago and I wasn't liking it as I thought I would (I've read all of these good reviews and thought it was gonna be great, but hehe life, right?) but gave this book a chance, and I don't regret of it. My Mechanical Romance is cute, funny, nerdy and great. Bel Maier doesn't know what she wants to do with her life, or what she wants to study in college and it's something 19 y/o me related with, a really long time ago (now I'm seriously regretting my decision, lmao). Until one day, by accident, her teacher sees a talent in Bel: engineering. So, she sends Bel straight to the robotics team. Worst of all? All the boy ignore her. And the only other girl in the team, Neelam? Doesn't seem to like Bel either. Teo Luna is the robotics team captain and he also sees the talent in Bel, so he helps her out. Which develop things between them and dkfjdkjfhdkjhfg you got me melting here. As I said in one of my updates: I don't understand a single shit of physics, hydraulics or robotics. I once read a book about the Chernobyl disaster and had a really fucking hard time trying to understand nuclear physics. But I pretend like I did understand it here, lmao. I'm a literature girl, I envy (mind you, in the good way) girls and women in STEM... y'ALL ARE FUCKING GODDESSES, I LOVE YOU, PLEASE ADOPT ME. Y'all are gonna rule this world. Queens. Alexene/Olivie portrayed the way girls are treated in a world/workspace/study space dominated by men in its majory, and I totally liked it. I can totally confirm this. Let me explain. My career (literature) is plagued by girls, there's a lot of us and like 11 boys (in my classes) but teachers (mostly men, ugh) only ask for their opinions to the boys, what about us? Well, we can overreact or argue. We don't "share our opinion", we just fucking yell and fight— which I've done with many teachers because, duh! I'm not a fucking dumb and I am so fucking smart (mind you, it took me years to accept the fact that I'm smart because people told me for years that I wasn't smart, not even a bit) and I have good opinions of my own. I just fucking hate the way we're treated —like we're dumb and we don't know a shit. So, even if it's not the same study/work field, I get it. I get how frustrating is try to prove your own worth, work your way and show what are you capable of. It's exhausting. I loved how this book wasn't just about robotics and love. It was about find out what you want, what are good at and how much you love what you do, or also how's not easy make your way in some fields. I was really hesitant about Neelam. But once I found out why she was with Bel the way she was, I understood her. (I was gonna set this fucking world on fire if there was girl-on-girl-hate just over a boy, ew) I get why she was mad and acting like a sour person. The romance was cute, funny and soft. I liked Bel and Teo together and separated. They're really smart, clever, also funny, and a couple of nerds, and weirdos. And the way that Bel transformed Teo into a Swiftie? *chef kiss* I love nerds, they're my weakness, trust me. And Teo is my new fictional boyfriend, one of my faves. Straight to the top 10 shelf. The side characters were okay. I don't complain. Jamie and Lora were wonderful. But Dash? Dashius ma boy, love of my life. He's the fucking MVP, I love him so much and I must protect him at all cost. I liked the complexities of Bel and Teo's families. Teo is basically the perfect guy: excellent grades, going to MIT, captain of the soccer team, a nerd, a fucking handsome nerd, funny and smart, but even he has problems that he struggles with, and many flaws, and I liked it. I thought I was gonna prefer Gabe over Luke, but nah, Luke is way better and a good boy. He supports Bel all the way and he's funny, too. Overall. I really really really liked this book, a lot for my own sanity. I mean, please, I have to keep a reputation of a cold-hearted bitch, and this book made me cry and throw my phone away and blush several times. If you saw me crying, no, you didn't. That wasn't me, it was Patricia. I'd totally recommend it once is out! previous review: okay, review to come when i collect my thoughts and stop crying. previous update: rivals to lovers + woc in stem? shut up, i'm here for it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    SK

    So much better than what I expected. This was a very wholesome read. I enjoyed it so much😩😩 The pace of the book was a bit slow for me but it never got boring. The author has written it so well. The plot is very investing, honestly it took me by surprise. I had thought to myself it's robotics how much fun can it get? But IT DID GET FUN!! (Please excuse, I have an arts background 😂). The characters are full of personality, and they get along so well together. Leo Tuna (My mind kept reading his nam So much better than what I expected. This was a very wholesome read. I enjoyed it so much😩😩 The pace of the book was a bit slow for me but it never got boring. The author has written it so well. The plot is very investing, honestly it took me by surprise. I had thought to myself it's robotics how much fun can it get? But IT DID GET FUN!! (Please excuse, I have an arts background 😂). The characters are full of personality, and they get along so well together. Leo Tuna (My mind kept reading his name like that the whole time, so am going to stick to that lol) is a good lead. I like how he wasn't too perfect, he had flaws which made him endearing. My girl Bel was so good. I really enjoyed her POV, she was full of energy and compassion, and you do feel that when you read it. What I didn't like about her though is the way she expresses herself, the way she communicates. I guess the author intended Bel to be like that, but I honestly didn't see the point of that. At a certain point she overused the word "like" and it did get slightly annoying. The supporting characters Ms. Voss and Dash are equally well written. Honestly, we all need a Ms. Voss in our lives. I like how Neelam's struggles are shown. I was a bit harsh on her at first but towards the end of the book she gained my respect and I do understand her perspective. I don't agree with how she managed it, but I understand. Overall, this was a super fun read and I would totally recommend it if you're a looking for a cute romance set in academia. Nerds are so hot! Also, women in STEM- more power to you👏 eARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    aly ☆彡 (slow response; is sick)

    (Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC copy in exchange for a review) Beating that 'outgrowing YA' allegation as I presented you my first five stars read of the year! I have to say the pun to have the title close to reminding you of your emo phrase is just something you wouldn't want to pass. I'm honestly not sure what I was expecting, but I've seen nothing but praises for this new try-out from Olivie Blake. It's safe to say, the book was delivered! Amid time constraints with no zest (Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC copy in exchange for a review) Beating that 'outgrowing YA' allegation as I presented you my first five stars read of the year! I have to say the pun to have the title close to reminding you of your emo phrase is just something you wouldn't want to pass. I'm honestly not sure what I was expecting, but I've seen nothing but praises for this new try-out from Olivie Blake. It's safe to say, the book was delivered! Amid time constraints with no zest to read, this book is just what I needed. When the author said they're writing STEM romance, this is exactly what I had in mind. Not just a character with a STEM background and proceed with the dunce-like love story. And I think what impresses me the most is how robotics or engineering is not my type of nerd and my least favorite field in STEM but there was not one time where I feel bored or clueless. In which to say, Follmuth/Blake had written the journey between Bel and Teo so compellingly. The highlight on the challenges of being a female in a male-dominated field was such a good accost. This novel tackled a lot of serious issues including heavy family dynamics, but it was still lighthearted, romantic, and did not come off as preachy. I would understand if some people don't think of this as a great romance book sure, but sometimes a good book has to do more with what the reader needs at that given time in their life. Bel and Teo just reminded me of how young love can be gullible yet thrilling. Incidentally, their character development is also something I reveled in. Bel's indecisiveness about herself, her abilities, right down to her glistening fashion was such a fun thing to read. It prompts me of the time my peers had things figured out while I was still obsessing over BTS and had no idea what to pursue. Meanwhile, Teo who despite having everything worked out, is a people pleaser that carried the pressure of being the team leader and the perfect son — which in all fairness, is not the kind that teenagers can withstand. Still, this propels the story forwards as we see them overcoming their struggles together. Given the diverse characters, the sweet romance, and the high pressuring backdrop, I'd say this book has it all. Despite its flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany Bel, Teo, and their physical and emotional journey. I love every single page of this book and I know I'm securing that copy for May 31st.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

    4.6 stars Bel doesn't know what to do in the future after she graduates high school. Then Bel's science teacher highly recommends her to join the robotics club after she shows a talent for engineering. But the boys in the club don't listen to her and Naleem, the other girl on the team doesn't like her. Teo, the captain of the robotics team sees her as a smart and capable team member, but then after an incident they don't see eye-to-eye. But as they work together on the robot after school they le 4.6 stars Bel doesn't know what to do in the future after she graduates high school. Then Bel's science teacher highly recommends her to join the robotics club after she shows a talent for engineering. But the boys in the club don't listen to her and Naleem, the other girl on the team doesn't like her. Teo, the captain of the robotics team sees her as a smart and capable team member, but then after an incident they don't see eye-to-eye. But as they work together on the robot after school they learn that they can create a well-built robot for the Championship and make room for each other in their life. This book was SO good!! This was such a sweet and fun rom-com about first love, figuring out what you love and learning to collaborate as a team. The pacing in the book was perfect and the plot was so interesting. I love the characters so much, especially Bel and Teo. I love Bel, she is creative, smart, determined and kind. I'm so glad that Bel grew so much as person, she learned a lot about herself and her future. I'm in love with Teo, he is very ambitious, smart, sweet, handsome and reliable. I really like Jamie, she is fun, sweet, helpful, smart, and ambitious. I love how all the side characters have their own personality and share an important part in the story. I really liked that the characters are so realistic, they are each going through a unique challenge and trying to find their own way. I loved the banter between Bel and Teo and the chemistry between them was amazing!! I really appreciated that the author highlighted the challenges that women of color face in STEM careers. The ending was so good, I'm so happy it ended on a happy note!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Hall

    Source of book: NetGalley (thank you) Relevant disclaimers: none Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author. And remember: I am not here to judge your drag, I mean your book. Books are art and art is subjective. These are just my personal thoughts. They are not meant to be taken as broader commentary on the general quality of the work. Believe me, I have not enjoyed many an excellent book, and my individual lack of enjoyme Source of book: NetGalley (thank you) Relevant disclaimers: none Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author. And remember: I am not here to judge your drag, I mean your book. Books are art and art is subjective. These are just my personal thoughts. They are not meant to be taken as broader commentary on the general quality of the work. Believe me, I have not enjoyed many an excellent book, and my individual lack of enjoyment has not made any of those books less excellent or (more relevantly) less successful. Further disclaimer: Readers, please stop accusing me of trying to take down “my competition” because I wrote a review you didn’t like. This is complete nonsense. Firstly, writing isn’t a competitive sport. Secondly, I only publish reviews of books in the subgenre where I’m best known (queer romcom) if they’re glowing. And finally: taking time out of my life to read an entire book, then write a detailed review about it that a handful of people on GR will look at would be a profoundly inefficient and ineffective way to damage the careers of other authors. If you can’t credit me with simply being a person who loves books and likes talking about them, at least credit me with enough common sense to be a better villain. ******************************************* Review contains mild spoilers. Ahhh, this was lovely. I kind of legitimately teared up at the end, partly over the book but mostly because I just feel strongly about young women in STEM. In any case, this is a charming YA romance that also—and this is very much my perspective—explores the issue facing (young) women, especially young WOC, in STEM with a touch more nuance that I’ve generally seen. I mean, there is an opposing team in the fighting robots competition (yes, this book is also about building robots—be still my beating my heart) who are very much “hur hur girls suck” but they’re on page twice and they're not actually positioned as more than irritating-in-the-moment. Because, the truth is, the issue of women in STEM isn’t really “hur hur girls suck” any more than queerphobia is really strangers in the street calling you the f-word. It’s essentially an institutional problem in that we basically tell AFAB people (and POC) that maths and hard science aren’t “for” them in about twenty-seven six gazillion subtle and hard-to-challenge ways, and then we use the fact there aren’t as many women in these fields to justify the initial exclusion as well as implementing new ones. Basically, it’s a fucking mess and—with my dayjob hat on, as well as my human being hat—I hate it. Anyway, what we have here is the story of Bel. She has to change to schools due to her parents’ complicated divorce and, once her talent for engineering is spotted by a well-meaning teacher (a genuinely well-meaning teacher, I hasten to add) she ends up joining the school’s robotics club. At first—despite her instinct for design—she has trouble fitting in: the boys are inclined to disregard her and the only other girl is actively hostile. Eventually, though, she manages to forge a fragile peace with the over-achieving robotics team captain, golden boy Theo Luna, and this leads to wider acceptance in the team as a whole. What follows is a fair bit of fighting robot realness, an incredibly sweet love story between two people who are, basically, a pair of academically gifted nerds, a really nuanced exploration of identity and self-agency, and—without ever getting preachy about it—an unremitting affirmation of the place of women (including WOC) in STEM. There are many many things to love about this book, from the witty energetic writing, to the deft characterisation, and the effortless diversity of the cast. While I can’t speak to the engineering, I can also confirm that the physics is rock solid—not that I’m claiming authority or expertise over the entirety of the field, but I do think if you’re making a case for women in STEM you kind of need to know what you’re talking about, either because you have a background in it yourself or you’ve done some research (especially because I strongly agree with one of the central tenets of the book itself: STEM isn’t hard, or at least no harder than anything else, you just have to put the work in and anyone can put the work in, regardless of their gender identity, race, academic background or how they were socialised). But, for me, what I extra mostest loved was that … this story doesn’t really have a villain? I mean, okay, there are the two "hur hur" two boys at the robot wars regional/finals but while they’re annoying they’re on page for, like, two seconds and nobody really sees them as a credible threat. Or rather, the only villain is … err … systematic inequality. For example, Bel’s parents are divorced, because Bel’s father cheated on Bel’s mum, perhaps repeatedly, and—as well it might—this has caused deep rifts in the family, including where the children stay, their sense of conflicted loyalty and love to both parents, and the inadvertent pressures both parents put on them in terms of feeling the need to navigate this very adult situation that should, in fact, not really be their problem. What’s interesting about this is that Bel’s father is very much allowed to be a good and loving father (even if he’s also clearly a terrible husband) and Bel's mother is allowed to be good and loving mother who feels independently fucked about what went down with her husband (which means she can take it a bit personally if her kids spend time with him). Similarly, the AP physics teacher into whose class Bel is transferred is initially is … how can I put this … a non-ideal teacher for her, albeit in subtle and unintentional ways, for example he (unconsciously) prioritises the boys in the class, is more engaged and responsive with them, encourages them in ways he doesn’t the girls, positions benches for the boys nearer his desk, is always happy to be asked for help but never volunteers assist to the girls the way he does instinctively for the boys, things like that. When Bel tries to push back a little against some of this, he gently suggests to her that she needs to be a better team player. Basically, these are all non-malicious, non-invasive ways that a teacher can fail to full understand their own biases. But I also appreciated that Mac (the teacher) wasn’t an out-and-out bad ‘un. He’s clearly passionate about his subject and committed to his students. There’s no direct reckoning with any of this but by the end of the book he admits to Bel that he’s learned a lot from her and we can hope he’s a more self-aware (and consequently better) teacher in the future. Where the book’s willingness to embrace complexity shines most specifically, though, is with Neelam, the only other girl in the robotics club. Despite Bel’s best attempts to connect with her, Neelam is angry, frustrated and unfriendly. And while it can sometimes be … problematic … to portray women as being in conflict with each other (especially since the ‘evil other woman’ trope still looms over us a bit) I actually think it’s also important to allow women characters to be specific individuals who experience unique interpersonal dynamics with other people (including other women). Obviously it’s great when marginalised people can support each other but the automatic assumption that people marginalised within their context are obligated to be instant best buds is … kinda messed up. Intra-community conflict IS a real thing. And Neelam does, in fact, have her reasons for her anger and frustration, and her anger and frustration with Bel in particular. But also, when it comes down to it, she is there for Bel and, in return, Bel is there for her, I guess the point being, that you can still support someone because you recognise their experiences and their struggles, and want them to succeed, but you don’t have to be super snuggly besties to do it. I should also add that Bel has female friends who are not involved in the robotics club: and I really enjoyed this gentle teasing apart of support and friendship. Like, both are great, and you can’t really have a non-supportive friendship, but you don’t HAVE to be friends with someone to support them. I felt that was a subtle and unusual relationship dynamic to explore, especially in YA, especially as regards women in STEM. The other theme I appreciated the book taking on very gently was that of (and here we’re getting a bit more explicitly spoilery) failure. At one point the heroine, discovering her love of engineering, is encouraged to apply for MIT. She does not, however, get in. She does, of course, find her own path after this but I kind of loved the fact we see a YA heroine want something very sincerely, do her best to get it, and still not … get it? For reasons that are probably fairly justified. It kind of honestly took me by surprise when this happened—I’m very used to feel-good romances and YA stories following a pretty direct line from lostness to commitment to success entirely the way the character envisages it. The fact that Bel’s story can encompass disappointments and setbacks (and all the emotions attendant on such experiences), without these things ruining her life is refreshing and, I felt, very vital to a story that I hope a lot of young people will read and be inspired by. After all, growing up is very much an exercise in figuring out what you want and then figuring out how to get it, even if (especially if) your initial attempt to get it didn’t pan out perfectly. Whether that’s building a robot, going to college, or falling for someone. I will also add that Bel’s insecurities and her brushes with real and significant failure serve to make her a very three dimensional and relatable heroine. Again, this might just be me and my oldness speaking, but I like the way that she is allowed to have natural ability, but that her natural abilities are never allowed to substitute for actual work. I’m afraid the hero, Teo, didn’t come across quite as successfully to me: he’s very charming and I got the broad outlines of his character (he’s the son of a very successful tech billionaire, who puts a huge amount of pressure on him to succeed) but, even though the book is told in dual POV between him and Bel, his emotional arc felt less coherent. There’s a bit near the end where circumstances force Teo to let go of his ruthless control of everything and accept that his team can support him as well as be supported by him but that’s … like … one incident? He does also tell Bel that before he met her he felt like he was drowning, and couldn’t be himself, but … I don’t know. For me, his story didn’t cohere into a meaningful growth arc quite as cleanly as Bel’s does. I mean, it might just be that “I was lost, now I’ve realised I’m good at something and I have an idea for my future” is more accessible then … um, “I feel I need to control everything because I’m so brilliant and my dad?” Of course, Teo’s fine at the end, so he must figure it out. But I didn’t feel as intimately involved in his side of the narrative than I did Bel’s. I also wasn’t entirely convinced about the early “academic rivals” part of their relationship because it felt a bit forced. Like, it requires Teo to dismiss Bel either because of unexamined sexism or personal bullshit—and later she does decide she hasn’t been great to him either, but I didn’t really see any evidence of that? I just saw him using privilege and his position as team captain to disempower her. Again, it’s not a big deal and once Bel and Teo are a team their relationship is delightful and mutually supportive … but I do think the “we are rivals for 5 minutes” bit didn’t reflect super well on Teo and came across to me as an external deployment of a trope than a natural dynamic between two particular people. Random nit-picks aside, though, I loved this. By the end, I had so many young women in STEM warm fuzzies that I was sobbing happily into my duvet. I wish I had, like, twenty-seven daughters I could give this book to, although I’m pretty sure they’d refuse to read it because their embarrassing dad had foisted it on them. If you, however, have twenty-seven (or even one) daughter to foist this on as an embarrassing parent, I strongly encourage you to start foisting. Also read it yourself because it’s a brilliant balance of nuance, complexity, wit and tenderness. (Oh, and if you’re a fan of The Atlas Six, this is the, um, non-penname—is this even a thing—of Olivie Blake. Super impressive genre-hopping from this author.) Edit: Wow, I posted this in the early hours of the morning and it was a touch incoherent. I've re-edited it to make actual sense to humans.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Allison (hiatus-so busy lately) Faught

    Before you get any ideas about my rating, I really loved the potential as well as some elements of this book! ❤️ - The female forward mindset of this book was off the charts awesome. Having two daughters, I want them to always know that they can do anything they want in life so this book spoke to me in that regard. ❤️ - The diversity was really cool too. There were a ton of characters with all sorts of backgrounds and the author took it a step further and even included different cultural referen Before you get any ideas about my rating, I really loved the potential as well as some elements of this book! ❤️ - The female forward mindset of this book was off the charts awesome. Having two daughters, I want them to always know that they can do anything they want in life so this book spoke to me in that regard. ❤️ - The diversity was really cool too. There were a ton of characters with all sorts of backgrounds and the author took it a step further and even included different cultural references for the characters. 😕 - There were a lot of times I noticed my mind wandering and couldn’t really get into the vibe of the book. There were chapters that bored me to tears or seemed rather repetitive. 😕 - Okay, so my husband completely disagrees with me on this one as we had an in-depth discussion over this while drinking wine. 😂 For the record, I only attributed a 1/2 ⭐️ knockoff for this. There was a lot of swearing (no F-bombs or anything), references to sex and teen drinking in this book for it being a YA novel. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read many a book that has had its fair share of swearing and sex but none of which are YA novels. (Maybe it’s the mom in me….) It all seemed so unnecessary as the sex didn’t drive the plot forward and the teen drinking was portrayed in a relatively positive light. While in this intense yet friendly debate, I looked up the age range for YA books and didn’t realize that’s it’s a pretty gray area topic and apparently rather controversial. (I literally had no idea, did you??) Some say 12-18 years old while others say 18-24 years old which is a drastic age difference between the two sets. I started reading YA novels as young as 12/13ish and being the rather innocent and book-loving kid I was, I wouldn’t have been interested in reading anything with swearing, drinking or sex references and 12 and 13 years old seems too young for such mature topics anyways. However! My husband, who was a high school/AP Chemistry and Biology teacher for 8 years, brought up some good points himself: He said the age doesn’t matter as much as the maturity of a child. He also asked me ‘Haven’t you ever read Catcher in the Rye in school?’ (I actually haven’t). Shoutout to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book! 3.25⭐️ .’ve seen some people who have just adored this book so check out other reviews or give it a shot yourself! 🤗

  8. 5 out of 5

    aashvi

    3.5 women in stem for the win – pre-read thoughts: okay so you're telling me I get academic rivals to lovers AND woc in stem ALL IN ONE BOOK??? AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER author has me in a chokehold🧎‍♀️🧎‍♀️ 3.5 women in stem for the win – pre-read thoughts: okay so you're telling me I get academic rivals to lovers AND woc in stem ALL IN ONE BOOK??? AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER author has me in a chokehold🧎‍♀️🧎‍♀️

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary (bookstorevibe)

    24/04/22 *deep sigh* i'm glad that others seem to be enjoying this but it just was not for me... i'm so disappointed because the premise sounded incredible and like something i'd love but i don't think it was executed very well --- An adorable cover, academic rivals to lovers, girls of color in STEM? 💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥 24/04/22 *deep sigh* i'm glad that others seem to be enjoying this but it just was not for me... i'm so disappointed because the premise sounded incredible and like something i'd love but i don't think it was executed very well --- An adorable cover, academic rivals to lovers, girls of color in STEM? 💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥💳💥

  10. 5 out of 5

    calypso

    okay i get it now, this book was incredible and i need everyone to read it

  11. 5 out of 5

    myo (myonna reads)

    this was extremely mediocre and i’m pissed cus i spent my last $11 on this book.. i could’ve bought snacks instead 😞🥲

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kalena W

    4.5/5 stars, this was just as cute as I hoped Thank you Holiday House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I did not know until I read another review that this is the same author that wrote 'The Atlas Six' which I have been dying to read for a long time, but that's so exciting considering how much I adored this cute book. I was reading it during a really busy time in my life, and the content within the book actually represented that. The main characters are seniors wh 4.5/5 stars, this was just as cute as I hoped Thank you Holiday House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I did not know until I read another review that this is the same author that wrote 'The Atlas Six' which I have been dying to read for a long time, but that's so exciting considering how much I adored this cute book. I was reading it during a really busy time in my life, and the content within the book actually represented that. The main characters are seniors who get ready to go to college and talk about having AP and harder classes often. That's what I was doing as well, so it was both rewarding and reassuring that these characters were doing the same things I was doing. I'm a nerd, something that I openly admit, and seeing all of the main characters have the same love for learning that I did especially in the STEM fields felt so amazing. I love nerds, I just love them. There is something else about a person so committed to learning and growing in all aspects of life, especially academically that I admire, probably why I aspire to be like them and surround myself with similar people. While I do not want to go into such a science-specific field as most of the characters, I love seeing women in STEM be represented in all books as I will be going for the same. I want to do Psychology, and while that was not represented, I have taken lots of other STEM classes that are both hard and so rewarding. I was really able to connect with the main characters that way. As well, the author really portrayed the way girls are treated in a primarily male-dominated world, workspace, and school so tremendously well. There were lots of little details that showed how women are treated as well as little instances where the reader was meant to ask themselves if that was indeed sexism (hint: most of the time it was). Creating a book where this is well represented while having room for the reader to recognize subtle sexism made it such a powerful message. I was also able to really connect with the main character, Bel because her parents were basically divorced before the novel started, and she had to deal with the implications throughout the entire book. While it was sad to see a character struggle with what I've been experiencing my whole life, it was also validating. It reminded me that I am not the only person with divorced parents and that every negative and positive experience that comes with it, and any emotions I may feel about any of it is valid. Children shouldn't have to deal with this outcome from their parents, but it happens. The science in this book was written in a way that is probably going to be easy for many people, from all types of backgrounds, to understand. I'm not really into robotics or physics, but I still enjoy a bit of science (mainly biology). Despite my overall lack of background knowledge on the subject, I never felt lost when the characters were referencing topics, as the author explained them in a simple way. It was still obvious that it was a complicated subject full of math and science, but I felt that it was easy enough to understand that the general reader should be able to enjoy it without an issue. Bel in many aspects was a very relatable character for me, especially as we shared the trait of being a person of color and a woman. There were so many instances when she was competing in robotics where people on the opposite teams said she was just "diversity points" or "token diversity girl." which was disgusting but seriously how people consider women in the STEM field, especially women of color. Bel never let it deter her though, she had moments where she was unsure, but she still did what she loved and found her place in the team. I adored her perseverance and really related to her in lots of ways. I think how she handled her family situation was also very mature of her, and I am so proud of her for finding herself over the course of the book. Teo Luna was also an amazing character, in the beginning I was a bit hesitant on his story and personality, but he won me over by the end. I really enjoyed how involved he was in his school and extracurriculars, but sometimes struggled with what he wanted to do. He was really committed to his friends, robotics, and felt the need to be the leader. I am really glad that as the novel progressed he learned to be leniant with himself and not be so focused on leading and organizing everything. It was not his sole responsibility, and him learning that was so cute. I really liked how he also learned to recognize the signs of subtle sexism present in his own school, robotics team, and the competitions in general. He grew from the boy who just didn't notice it, to be the boy that actively tried to correct himself and help Bel and Neelam. I really enjoyed the little glimpse of him in the epilogue as well. The side characters really added to the lively feel of the book as well, they were all so much fun and some really great friends to the main characters. My favorite was probably Neelam or Dash, they were pretty much opposites but were both very interesting. In the beginning, I was really hesitant about Neelam and the direction her story was going to go, but I ended up really enjoying her. She knows that she doesn't owe anyone anything besides herself, and I get why she acted like a sour person. Dash was just really funny and I enjoyed his character. Sometimes romance in these types of books makes me feel like it's unrealistic, but I think this was written in a very mature way. The enemies-to-lovers romance found between Bel and Teo was actually very cute, and I loved the progression of their relationship. It never felt forced and overall was very well done, especially at the end of the novel. The decision that they made concerning their relationship was very mature of them and I loved seeing it play out in the epilogue as well. I was proud of them for making the decision they did. As well, both characters had their own lives outside of the relationship, and I really enjoyed how the relationship was not just all about each other. Oftentimes that's how it is, but I don't think it's necessary healthy for teenagers who are dating to only have each other in their lives and no one else, and no outside hobbies. So seeing that they were able to have this healthy balance was so important for me as well. As I was a senior while reading this, it felt rewarding watching the characters leave high school and prep for their college years, for example like I said before with AP tests and finals. They began to realize themselves in a positive way and supported one another, which was absolutely fantastic to see. One of my favorite "lessons" of the book was when Bel didn't get into the school she wanted, and instead chose a community school, and no one hated on her for it. Even the people that placed expectations on her to go somewhere big and prestigious didn't shame her for it. I enjoyed how the book talked about how getting into the best school is NOT ALL that matters, and you can be really smart while choosing something else, because it is YOUR education no one else's. I did the same, I didn't choose the most "prestigious" school, but still chose a school in the same system as the "prestigious" school just smaller, as this would be better for me in the long run in terms of money and my own wellbeing. Overall, this was such a lovely book with lots of important topics, mostly concerning college and leaving high school, which should be represented more. I enjoyed how it handled all of these, and the characters all felt very mature and realistic. I really adored this book and only took off a half-star as at first it was hard to connect to, but I was also in a busy time in my life and it was probably not the book's fault. After this, I cannot wait to read The Atlas Six by the same author. [TW: sexism, divorce, infidelity (mentioned), anxiety depiction, racist comments]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mila ♡ (Semi-hiatus)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ***4.0 rating*** I am not one to normally read YA, being in my 20s I like to read my lets say um adult content😉, but occasionally every once in a while I like to dabble in the genre to read about the simpler times like being concerned about teenage angst or puppy love. Its been actually a while since I have actually read YA romance but I am glad I gave this book a chance. I have absolutely zero regrets. It turned out to be a great read after all, I love it when a book surprises you and exceed ***4.0 rating*** I am not one to normally read YA, being in my 20s I like to read my lets say um adult content😉, but occasionally every once in a while I like to dabble in the genre to read about the simpler times like being concerned about teenage angst or puppy love. Its been actually a while since I have actually read YA romance but I am glad I gave this book a chance. I have absolutely zero regrets. It turned out to be a great read after all, I love it when a book surprises you and exceeds your expectations. This book was that. It was not just about teenage angst, high school drama or fluffy puppy love it was much more than that. It was about a teenage girl finding her place in STEM, a male dominated field. Isobel "Bel" Maier is in her senior year, and has transferred in her final year of high school to a new school, not the most ideal time to be transferring especially when its your final year in high school. Bel navigates her senior in a new school with fresh faces in sight some friendly ones and others not so much. One of those faces happens to be that of Mateo "Teo" Luna, the hot nerd and golden boy at Bel's new school who also happens to be Bel's eventual love interest. We will come back to our lovebirds eventually. But for now lets discuss Bel and her journey in engineering. As a result of a teacher witnessing Bel's potential in engineering, she is transferred into the AP Physics course and eventually joins the school's robotics team (per her teacher/Ms. Voss's encouragement). Robotics or AP courses are the last thing on Bel's mind when she enrolls in a new school, one that is much more different than her previous school. Here academics are the focus and sure while Bel was interested in STEM, it was not something she considered herself doing at her new school, however thanks to Ms. Voss, we see Bel flourish in both robotics and Physics, furthering her interest and passion in STEM. Bel is smart, more than people give her credit for, especially her male teachers and classmates. I felt Bel heavily on this and I think many female students too have unfortunately doubted their potential in a given subject or field. I remember being in high school telling one of my teacher's that I wanted to eventually pursue law one day but he said that "I think girls like you are more suited to studying fashion no?". I won't ever forget that. The sexism and the judgment. Sadly that didn't stop in high school or university or now at grad school. I have had asshole professors who don't take female students seriously and dismiss us as if we aren't any more intelligent than our male colleagues. I don't mean to get carried away but I am sure my experience along with Bel's will hit close to home for some of us who suffered the judgement of our teachers that are supposed to guide us and not diminish our potential. I loved Ms. Voss and her constant encouragement of Bel's goals and ambitions. We all need a Ms. Voss in our corner especially when we are just starting out our lives and are planning for our future. In terms of the romance in this book it was cute af. I loved how we get to see Teo and Bel go from I guess "enemies"-to-friends-to-lovers. They are both so adorably nerdy, awkward and precious. Their interactions were so pure and innocent. Despite Teo being the golden boy, he knew Bel was intelligent and in his own way he always encouraged her to live up to her potential even if at times it was felt differently by Bel. Both characters have complicated family dynamics and being a teenager while trying to deal with all of that and your future at the same time... is a lot. Too much pressure. In Teo's case, I felt for the kid, I really did. I feel like he never got to be a kid, always trying to please everyone around him. I think I liked him best when he was with Bel. He noticed everything about her, from her weird/adorable fashion sense to her building things. Just absolutely adorable. Bel didn't have it easier at all, a working mom, divorced parents, trying not to pick a side while trying to figure out your life at 17 is not ideal. But despite their struggles, these two confided in each other and got through high school together. *sobs due to their cuteness*😭💕 Their friend group was also entertaining. I was not a fan of Neelam at first, you will see why but let me just say this girl surprises you and will eventually win you over. I also liked Dash who is Teo's friend, he added much humor to the story and shipped Teo and Bel together. Overall, this was a heartfelt YA romance that touched upon the difficulties of women in STEM, complicated family dynamics, discovering your own potential, making new friends and finding romance when you least expect it. I think you will find yourself enjoying this as much as I did or at least I hope you do! You will not regret it💕. ***Much thanks to NetGallery, the publisher and the author for the arc in exchange for an honest review***

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jovana (NovelOnMyMind)

    Because she surprises me, because she makes me laugh, and because this, whatever it is with her, is the only thing I ever do that’s easy. Because wherever I am, I want her close by. Themes & vibes: • nerdy YA romance • high school setting • rivals-to-friends-to-lovers • coming of age • girls in STEM • dual POV This was so adorable! Cute, and fun, and well written, and deliciously nerdy! Building robots is not how I picture a good time, but this kept me engaged and glued to the page the who Because she surprises me, because she makes me laugh, and because this, whatever it is with her, is the only thing I ever do that’s easy. Because wherever I am, I want her close by. Themes & vibes: • nerdy YA romance • high school setting • rivals-to-friends-to-lovers • coming of age • girls in STEM • dual POV This was so adorable! Cute, and fun, and well written, and deliciously nerdy! Building robots is not how I picture a good time, but this kept me engaged and glued to the page the whole time. I loved how entertaining both the plot and the writing style were. The MCs were so sweet! They were amazing separately and even better together. And they grew so much throughout the book. And the romance aspect of this book was just - chef's kisses. Honestly, I think this may be the best YA contemporary romance I’ve ever read. It gave me all I’ve been looking for and more. I really hope Follmuth will write more in this genre - I’d be the first one to read it all and I’m sure many more people feel the same. If you want to see my much more in depth review, you can check it out on my book blog NovelOnMyMind. A huge thank you to RB Media and NetGalley for providing me with an audio ARC of My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    swirly (aaron and cardan's version) herondale-corrigan-carstairs-kishimoto-blackthorn

    not me thinking this had to do with MCR 😢

  16. 4 out of 5

    maggie (rin's version)

    TEO MEMORIZED TAYLOR SWIFT'S ENTIRE DISCOGRAPHY FOR BEL😩 TEO MEMORIZED TAYLOR SWIFT'S ENTIRE DISCOGRAPHY FOR BEL😩

  17. 4 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    author thinks the word “heteronormativity” is a synonym for “patriarchy” and “feminism” and somehow none of the editors disagreed

  18. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    Thank you, Holiday House, for the advance reading copy. This book turns out to be a surprise! I find the writing quite adorable and the characters quite relatable. I just love these nerds! If you feel like you haven't read a good young adult romance in a while now, don't think too much about it. The right book is here! I mean who can deny this adorable cover! The story exactly lives up to the blurb which I find pretty damn satisfying. This is the story about Bel and Mateo Luna who are basically thro Thank you, Holiday House, for the advance reading copy. This book turns out to be a surprise! I find the writing quite adorable and the characters quite relatable. I just love these nerds! If you feel like you haven't read a good young adult romance in a while now, don't think too much about it. The right book is here! I mean who can deny this adorable cover! The story exactly lives up to the blurb which I find pretty damn satisfying. This is the story about Bel and Mateo Luna who are basically thrown together in the same college by fate (sigh! This should happen more in stories. I know it happens all the time but I just need more of this you know!). And then the drama begins (psst! You cannot take sides okay?!). Enemies to lovers? Who would have thought about it when their characters are so different. Bel and Teo have to work together to win the Nationals. Their nerd talk is everything for me! I feel the characters are developed so well. You just cannot ignore even the side characters. You will know what I mean. You will get to see their struggles (you know more adults need to read such books to know what the young have to go through at college and uni). This would have been the most ultimate perfect read for me if I didn't feel some parts did drag in between. Otherwise a fun engaging nerdy read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    kaitlyn

    thank you netgalley, holiday house, and alexene farol follmuth, aka olivie blake, for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i truly didn’t expect to love this book as much as i did, but i’m so happy about it. it reminded me of the best parts of high school and what it’s like to fall in love. this is a great young adult romantic comedy. it reminds me of the love hypothesis for a couple of reasons, namely the writing, relationship, and focus on STEM, and i have a feeling people who thank you netgalley, holiday house, and alexene farol follmuth, aka olivie blake, for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i truly didn’t expect to love this book as much as i did, but i’m so happy about it. it reminded me of the best parts of high school and what it’s like to fall in love. this is a great young adult romantic comedy. it reminds me of the love hypothesis for a couple of reasons, namely the writing, relationship, and focus on STEM, and i have a feeling people who loved that novel will like this one as well! i read it in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. it’s a short book, less than 300 pages, but it’s still so meaningful and fun. this book follows bel, our main character, as she joins her school’s robotics team. there she meets mateo - aka teo - who quickly became one of my favorite love interests because of how much he cares about bel and is proud of her. this book reminded me a lot of high school and my time on our academic challenge team. it was always so fun going to competitions and being on the bus with all of my friends and this book perfectly encapsulates all of those feelings. i also thought that all of the characters were realistic, especially in terms of teenagers today, and likable. bel is a great character and i related to her a lot while reading, especially when it talked about how she never really knew what she wanted to do with her future because girls are typically expected to like and do certain things. and, as i mentioned earlier, teo is one of the sweetest characters and i loved him! their relationship was so perfect and i loved witnessing the struggles they went through because they were realistic and were solved in productive ways. the side characters are also great as well. this book is well-written and i laughed out loud a couple times while reading! i was truly immersed in the story and highly recommend it. the only warning i have is that there’s a good bit of technical talk regarding the robots and science, which i didn’t understand, but people who are interested in these things would really love it. the book does a good job of explaining everything though and i learned some new things. if you want a sweet and entertaining young adult read, this is the book for you! i love the current trend of STEM related books and i hope to read more of them in the future :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    rylee!!

    ladies find yourself a man who listens to taylor’s swifts whole discography for you

  21. 5 out of 5

    renee

    Thank you to NetGalley and Holiday House for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review 5⭐️ first of all, this book was amazing! it wasn’t hard for me fall in love with it considering it served one of my favourite tropes which is academic rivals to lovers and this trope was done so well that i could literally reread this book right now and not be bored. my mechanical romance follows bel, who is forced to join the robotics team after her teacher notices her potential and Thank you to NetGalley and Holiday House for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review 5⭐️ first of all, this book was amazing! it wasn’t hard for me fall in love with it considering it served one of my favourite tropes which is academic rivals to lovers and this trope was done so well that i could literally reread this book right now and not be bored. my mechanical romance follows bel, who is forced to join the robotics team after her teacher notices her potential and talent for engineering. bel was honestly the perfect protagonist and i think many young people could relate with her struggles. her relationship with her teacher ms. voss reminded me of one of my favourite teachers in high school and those moments were personally some of the most heart warming ones. we could use more teachers like that in our world. the plot of the whole book was also very interesting and i’m so happy that stem inspired romance books are getting more popular these days. i really liked reading about the robot fights since i also used to be really into science in high school. when it comes to romance i’m just gonna say it’s one of the most adorable ones i’ve read about in a while. teo and bel were the perfect couple and i love how they understood each other and always tried to be helpful and considerate. their issues were also resolved in such a nice way and i was so relieved that there was no drama. all the other characters were lovable as well. this book was one of the shorter ones and fast paced but it still captured all of the emotions perfectly. my mechanical romance managed to both be cute and funny and explore really important themes in life which is one of the reasons i loved it so much.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adiba Jaigirdar

    This is such an adorable romcom. The chemistry between the two leads is phenomenal and it's hard not to fall for them as they fall for each other. It also does a fantastic job in exploring what STEM fields can look like for women, and specifically for women of colour, who are often not welcomed into them and find themselves as the minority - in more ways than one. This book is also filled with so much diversity, not just from its lead characters but also its side characters. I loved the friendsh This is such an adorable romcom. The chemistry between the two leads is phenomenal and it's hard not to fall for them as they fall for each other. It also does a fantastic job in exploring what STEM fields can look like for women, and specifically for women of colour, who are often not welcomed into them and find themselves as the minority - in more ways than one. This book is also filled with so much diversity, not just from its lead characters but also its side characters. I loved the friendship groups that the two leads had, and I loved their complex and nuanced relationships with their families too. All-in-all I just loved reading this book and cannot recommend it highly enough!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Update (3/24/22): I finished this at 3 AM and I’m an emotional wreck (but in a good way). Thank you to NetGalley and Holiday House for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! As some of you may know, I'm not the biggest fan of YA Contemporary novels anymore. I went on a huge rant about it in my review of Ace of Spades, but to summarize said rant, it's mainly because I can't relate to a lot of the issues the main characters in these kinds of novels face simply because I'm not their age anymore a Update (3/24/22): I finished this at 3 AM and I’m an emotional wreck (but in a good way). Thank you to NetGalley and Holiday House for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! As some of you may know, I'm not the biggest fan of YA Contemporary novels anymore. I went on a huge rant about it in my review of Ace of Spades, but to summarize said rant, it's mainly because I can't relate to a lot of the issues the main characters in these kinds of novels face simply because I'm not their age anymore and most of the issues they face are pretty juvenile in the big picture we call life. However, My Mechanical Romance was an exception and a good one at that. We're talking women and girls of color in STEM and academic rivals to lovers here, oh, and the book is written by Olivie Blake who wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Atlas Six, so I was going to read this regardless of what it was about just because it's by Olivie Blake using a pen name. (Also, the whole "guy falls first and the girl is totally oblivious" is one of my new favorite romance tropes.) I started reading this book on a whim with no expectations really, and by the end of it, I was giggling like an idiot over Bel and Teo's interactions and relationship. I loved seeing Bel grow as a person and "take up her own space," as Ms. Voss would put it, despite being on a robotics team that overall bent its will to a single person (Teo and whatever he said, goes) and making her presence known. I also loved reading about Teo's struggle to balance his academic life, his athletic life, and his priorities to his robotics team, mostly due to parental pressure and what people expected him to be. They balanced each other out well and they brought out the best in each other-Teo even admits at one point that Bel makes him think about things differently and being on the robotics team helped Bel step out of her comfort zone and realize that engineering is a career and major that she's interested in-which is honestly all I can ask for in a romance novel. The chemistry was there, you know? I could FEEL the tension and the sparks flying between them! Another reason why I loved this book so much was that I could actually relate to Teo's issues as well as Bel's looking back on my high school years. I was an Honors/AP/dual enrollment student in high school-I started taking AP classes my sophomore year of high school and by senior year, I had 8 APs, 4 dual-enrollment classes across 2 different universities, and countless honors classes under my belt to the extent that I had enough credits to be considered a sophomore when I started my freshman year of university/college. To say that I can relate to what Teo was going through when the book talked about him loading up on AP courses his senior year is an understatement because I've lived through something similar myself. I can also relate to Bel's struggle being surrounded by students who were applying to all these top colleges- MIT, Stanford, NYU, just to name a few of the schools Bel and Teo's friends applied to- and feeling like you don't fully know what you want to do and where you want to go or even if your plans after high school are "good" enough compared to your friends' plans, which all seem very well-thought-out and planned. I also appreciate how Alexene Farol Follmuth/Olivie Blake went into the sexism and the struggle that women in STEM go through every day with Mac favoring Teo, Dash, Kai, and the guys on the robotics team and his AP Physics class while he continually shut down Bel's concerns and moods. I'm glad that this topic is starting to be discussed more in books (The Love Hypothesis for example) because there's more than meets the eye in academia and STEM fields/healthcare professions when it comes to topics like this. The only thing I took a star off for is Neelam and her whole attitude the entire book. Yes, we do get a reasonable explanation as to why she is the way that she is, but I don't think that justifies being rude to her other teammates and especially poor Bel who has no idea what she did wrong considering she's literally the new student at school and doesn't know any of the dynamics/relationships between the students who were already there. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed this and I may get a physical copy of the book when it gets published so I can re-read it sometime in the future! -- Pre-read/review thoughts (2/21/22): I see Olivie Blake is trying her hand at YA Contemporary Romance now? I'll read anything written by her even though this isn't really the kind of book I'd read on a normal basis. (Also that title's reminding me of My Chemical Romance really takes me back to my taste in music when I was in high school lol. Yes, I had somewhat of an emo phase. "Hi, I'm Pete Wentz from My Chemical Romance" ~Brendon Urie if you know, you know) — 4 stars Trigger warnings:(view spoiler)[cheating/adultery, emesis/vomiting (hide spoiler)]

  24. 5 out of 5

    alana ☁️

    This is the most wholesome high school book ever I loved it so much🥺💛 The writing is simple yet enthralling and I was sucked into the story from the first page. The characters are sweet and charming and likeable and I fell in love them with all very quickly. Bel is an awesome heroine, I loved her attitude and how unique she was in just everything, and super smart too. I really enjoyed the slow burn, rivals to lovers story — the banter was fantastic and I liked seeing how the relationship develop This is the most wholesome high school book ever I loved it so much🥺💛 The writing is simple yet enthralling and I was sucked into the story from the first page. The characters are sweet and charming and likeable and I fell in love them with all very quickly. Bel is an awesome heroine, I loved her attitude and how unique she was in just everything, and super smart too. I really enjoyed the slow burn, rivals to lovers story — the banter was fantastic and I liked seeing how the relationship developed between her and Mateo. This book talks about sexism and how women, especially in male-dominated areas like STEM are often looked down on and questioned about their abilities, but Bel and the rest of the girls prove them wrong😎. The use of STEM throughout the story was really well done and I found it refreshing from usual contemporary romance. I loved that this book managed to respectfully tackle tough issues while still keeping the overall atmosphere of the story. I’ve been looking forward to this book for months and it’s so much better than I anticipated. I definitely recommend this one if you're a fan of cute YA romances, and especially if you like robots <3

  25. 4 out of 5

    lily

    “There’s a lot more kinds of strength than just being outwardly tough, and it’s a lot to ask of anyone to succeed when most people in the room are waiting to see you fail.” → 4.5 stars women in STEM >>>> I really did not expect to love this as much as I did. I don’t know anything about robotics or anything mechanical, and I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this because of that. While there were some terms I didn’t know the meaning of, this book was actually pretty easy to understand with no prior kno “There’s a lot more kinds of strength than just being outwardly tough, and it’s a lot to ask of anyone to succeed when most people in the room are waiting to see you fail.” → 4.5 stars women in STEM >>>> I really did not expect to love this as much as I did. I don’t know anything about robotics or anything mechanical, and I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this because of that. While there were some terms I didn’t know the meaning of, this book was actually pretty easy to understand with no prior knowledge of robotics and anything with mechanics. I do think it would be even more enjoyable if I had prior knowledge, but I didn’t mind and had a lot of fun reading this! At first I struggled a bit with getting into this, but my reading slump might’ve been the cause of that! This book actually pulled me out of my reading slump, so thank you to the author for writing such a great book :) → Plot This story follows Bel, a high school senior, who had to transfer to a new school due to family problems. Bel has absolutely no idea what she wants to do with her life, and has zero interest in joining any clubs, but she is basically forced into joining the schools robotics team when she accidentally admits to her love of engineering, and she makes new friends along the way. The plot was pretty easy to follow, and I thought the pacing was perfect! I was nervous the romance would suck, since a lot of high school contemporary romances feel pretty forced, but it was actually super realistic! Teo and Bel were super cute together and I was rooting for them the entire time. I really enjoyed this, and it was super cute and funny but also covered important topics such as sexism. Bel and Neelam had to work so hard only to be given little to no recognition for their work, which was really sad to read, but it was very important to add since that is very realistic for women in STEM. Nobody really even liked Neelam, and I admit I was hesitant about her at first, but she acted the way she did because she had to work ten times as hard as the boys and yet her ideas were still ignored. I did think she could’ve been a bit nicer to Bel, but then again, can you blame her? While Bel did have to face sexism as well, she didn’t even have to put any effort into being chosen to join the robotics team. It made me sad that Neelam and Bel were working against each other for most of the book, but them becoming friends at the end was lovely! Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  26. 5 out of 5

    cor ✿

    as a mexican - jewish person, i loved teo. i also loved bel. actually, there wasn’t anything i didn’t love about this book. women in stem killing it? ✅ enemies to academic colleagues to lovers? ✅ boy meets girls family by accident trope? ✅ girl gets boy into T SWIFT? ✅ the feminism? ✅✅✅ AN AMAZING EPILOGUE? ✅ i loved this book so much. it stole my mechanical heart ❤️

  27. 4 out of 5

    ash | आश ♥ [superache enthusiast]

    edit: omg this came out !! i need to reread this ads;lfjasd;jlf ahhh this was so cute and one of my favorite ya-contemporaries of ‘22 so far !! thank you NetGalley for the arc, final rtc.

  28. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    Okay, before the three star scares anyone else, please note, this was really cute. And the enjoyable parts were very enjoyable. There is a good chunk of diversity, this is STEM-focused, and, for something a little different, it's engineering kinda sorta Big Hero 6 style with combat robotics. Very fun. Overall I think this is also likely very relatable on the subject of expectations for YA-aged kids transitioning into college, etc, too. Especially these days. "Sometimes I think I'd rather be forty Okay, before the three star scares anyone else, please note, this was really cute. And the enjoyable parts were very enjoyable. There is a good chunk of diversity, this is STEM-focused, and, for something a little different, it's engineering kinda sorta Big Hero 6 style with combat robotics. Very fun. Overall I think this is also likely very relatable on the subject of expectations for YA-aged kids transitioning into college, etc, too. Especially these days. "Sometimes I think I'd rather be forty and wondering where my life went instead of seventeen and relentlessly hounded about my future. I can't wait for my life of quiet desperation so I can finally meditate on all the ways I wasted my precious youth." So with all that goodness, why not a higher rating? Truthfully I don't know. There was just something.. missing. I don't know if I wanted the rival-flavoured dislike (not quite hate) to go on longer or not because I really liked how they warmed up to each other. I appreciated, too, that it wasn't all easy fun joy within the robotics group itself. There were contentious relationships and dynamics and that felt very real. It wasn't just outsiders (notably other boys) who made life difficult, and judged, the female MC for being involved, it was also the other girl in the group. And her reasons do eventually become revealed and are valid. Not 100% but like.. even the female MC comes around to it. It worked. She's acting like she knows me, and I feel like that's not fair. I've been enjoying getting to know her, but apparently to her I'm nothing new. But between those conflicts, the pressure the male MC had pressing down on his shoulders from those around him, and particularly his parents, it was again very real. Though of course I liked this particular style of conflict less. But I can't say it really soured the whole enjoyment.. I don't think? "You're new, you know? You're like this new colour I didn't know existed and now I see it everywhere and I'm like, thank god I can see it now. Such a bummer if I never did." See, honestly, I don't know what was missing, or what maybe hit a wrong note (maybe it just could've been longer? maybe something could've been better fleshed out, more time with the secondary support so they felt a tiny bit more like their own persons? maybe, as I ponder this more, everything was just a little too.. surface) but regardless I think this is definitely worth your time if you're interested in picking it up. ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  29. 5 out of 5

    kimberly ☆

    thank you so much to holiday house for this arc! 4.25 stars from me! Whew! This book was truly a refreshing read for me. I recently been getting a little bit back into why a romances and this book reminds me why I love the genre so much. The story is written solo, it’s incredibly easy to follow and the plot is interesting as well. I love the main character, Bel, she is one of my favorite characters I’ve read this year actually. I love her entitle dialogue as well as just who she is as a person. I thank you so much to holiday house for this arc! 4.25 stars from me! Whew! This book was truly a refreshing read for me. I recently been getting a little bit back into why a romances and this book reminds me why I love the genre so much. The story is written solo, it’s incredibly easy to follow and the plot is interesting as well. I love the main character, Bel, she is one of my favorite characters I’ve read this year actually. I love her entitle dialogue as well as just who she is as a person. I love that she is not afraid to stand out amongst the crowd and not stay in the shadows for long. Her character growth throughout the story is notable and I really enjoyed it. Teo was a really interesting character for me to read. He’s pretty different than most heroes I read about in the YA genre! He was pretentious to a fault, but he was also very easy to sympathize with and when you learn more about who he is a person he’s very easy to love. The relationship between these two is substantial. I absolutely adored them as a couple and as individuals. I love how the relationship progress throughout the book and how we got to see their feelings develop for one another. The side characters in the book are all lovable except I was not a big fan of Neelam she was not someone I could connect to or really understand. As a woman in STEM, I am used to constantly being in spaces that are filled with men and usually male dominated, so I can understand a distain towards someone who would walk in to a room and get the easy way in. I just felt like Neelam was overdoing a lot of her reactions as well as just her overall distaste for Bel! Overall I really enjoyed this book and that’s why it gets a 4.25 stars out of me

  30. 5 out of 5

    lisa (taylor's version)

    Many, many thanks to Holiday House and NetGalley for providing me with this digital ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts. My professional review: I am so glad that I loved this book with my whole heart because at the beginning I was really skeptical of the story but Alexene Farol Follmuth aka Olivie Blake definitely did not disappoint. Firstly, the plot is so interesting - it's surely not only a romance as I expected. As a woman in STEM, I really appreciate the commentary on sexism and elit Many, many thanks to Holiday House and NetGalley for providing me with this digital ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts. My professional review: I am so glad that I loved this book with my whole heart because at the beginning I was really skeptical of the story but Alexene Farol Follmuth aka Olivie Blake definitely did not disappoint. Firstly, the plot is so interesting - it's surely not only a romance as I expected. As a woman in STEM, I really appreciate the commentary on sexism and elitism of the field as they are very well-represented in my opinion. The story about academic validation also amuses me a lot - as I relate very much to some of the characters in this regard. Furthermore, the way AFF wrote the succession of the events is very smooth and it really helps with the reading after the rough beginning (at least for me). Next, the characters and their development, without surprise, were well-executed. Every character has their own flaws at the beginning, and it's quite satisfying to see their evolution and how their relationships helped them with it. Indeed, the development can be considered "rushed", but I am definitely not mad because it's a short book, and overall, very consistent. Finally, the romance. As expected from the one of only Olivie Blake, it's *chef's kiss*. I love how their relationship played out, and how the spark of the yearning period doesn't disappear after the relationship started. The competitiveness of a classic-academic-rivals-to-lovers arc, the tension, the yearning... Everything was perfect. After that rough beginning, Bel and Teo indeed became one of the couples I am gonna think about for a long time. However, I do have some small complaints. As previously said, the beginning was hard for me to get through because it felt very juvenile and disconnected from the rest of the book. Additionally, while I have never really hated Neelam, I find her actions around Bel kind of unjustified. Other than that, this book was a solid 4.75/5 for me. I really hope Olivie Blake will write more YA romances because her writing in this book is so good. Anyways... My unprofessional review that CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS: 1. ACADEMIC VALIDATION IS THE BEST FORM OF VALIDATION BITCHES 2. *cries* He calls her "bel canto" *SCREAMS* 3. kisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskisskiss...... OH MY FUCKING GODDDDDDDDD BWJSWJJSJNSJWJSJJSJ 4. Kai my little sunshine 5. Confident, unapologetic girlbosses in STEM who aren't afraid to take up space >>>>>>>>>>> 6. If she doesn't make you a mechanical sparrow bot, does she even love you? 7. The reunion *cries* 8. Do I want to date them, or do I want to be them...?

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