Hello, friends! Today I’m so happy to share my post for My Mechanical Romance as part of the Turn the Page Tours blog and bookstagram tour. A big thanks to TTPT and Holiday House for having me on this tour and for the gifted copy of this book.
Nerds are so hot.
Especially battle robot building nerds.
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 built more than just a combat-ready robot for the championship: they’ve made space for each other and themselves.
This sharply funny, academic rivals to lovers romance explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty.
Title: My Mechanical Romance
Author: Alexene Farol Follmuth
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
This book was bursting with personality, humor, and good ol’ science. Plus, who can resist a reference to one of the greatest punk rock bands of all time?
My favorite part about this book was the abundance of personality it had. We get most of this from the thoughts of our two main characters, Bel and Teo. Bel is a quirky and confident character. Her thoughts throughout this book are so funny and real that I just loved every minute of it. She was anything but boring and I was so happy I was able to get a really good sense as to who she was.
Similarly, Teo is a well-rounded character with hilarious thoughts that give us a great insight into who he is. Unlike Bel, however, he’s a little more reserved with his real personality and so only the reader really gets to know him for a while. It was great to have his contrasting personality against Bel’s to make this book even more enjoyable (and really bring out the enemies to lovers romance).
I love that both of these characters had some realizations to come to. Although they definitely helped each other to get to their points of growth, ultimately, they had to make the change themselves. Their character arcs felt original and heartfelt. I felt like a lucky reader to be able to witness it all unfold.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how much I loved the STEM topics and issues discussed in this book. It mostly talks about physics and robot building (which is not my line of STEM), but it was still enjoyable. Also, I was so happy it brought up the gender inequality in the fields of STEM. There were lots of points it made that I had felt before, but never quite knew how to put into words. I’m so happy this book was able to give me the words to understand what I’ve felt over the years.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable book with a wonderful discussion of several important topics, a diverse cast of characters, and, again, so much personality. I’m so happy this book exists!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Alexene Farol Follmuth, also known under the pen name Olivie Blake, is a lover and writer of stories, many of which involve the fantastic, the paranormal, or the supernatural, but not always. More often, her works revolve around the collective experience, what it means to be human (or not), and the endlessly interesting complexities of life and love.
Alexene tripped and fell into writing after abandoning her long-premeditated track for Optimum Life Achievement while attending law school, and now focuses primarily on the craft and occasional headache of creating fiction. As Olivie, she has been published as the featured fiction contributor for Witch Way Magazine, as well as the writer for the graphic series Clara and the Devil and a variety of other books. The revised hardcover edition of her cult favorite The Atlas Six releases March 2022 from Tor Books. As Alexene, her debut YA novel, My Mechanical Romance, is coming May 2022 from Holiday House.
Alexene lives and works in Los Angeles, where she is generally tolerated by her rescue pit bull. She can be loosely defined as the sort of person who picked up sparring as a means to improve writing fight scenes. To connect with Alexene online, visit her website www.olivieblake.com or find her on Instagram @afarolfollmuth
There is one (1) copy of My Mechanical Romance available. Click the link to access the giveaway website.
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