Book Title: My Mechanical Romance
Author: Alexene Farol Follmuth
Publisher: Holiday House
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
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 http://www.olivieblake.com or find her on Instagram @afarolfollmuth
My Mini Review
Okay, this book was literally everything. My Mechanical Romance is a beautiful, refreshing YA romance story that I could not get enough of – the whole story is adorable and so well-written that it was difficult to put the book down. I already had a feeling this book was going to be good, but it easily exceeded all my expectations!
Not only is My Mechanical Romance full of beautiful prose and an engaging plot, but also characters that are easily relatable. I loved Bel and Mateo and the hardships both faced while working together on creating a battle ready robot. Bel is a passionate girl and smart and hardworking. I believe she will easily be an idol for girls that want to work in a STEM field. All the side characters brought a lot to the story and helped develop the main characters. This book also, at times, had me reminiscing about high school and first loves, which I definitely think many readers will relate to.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this YA rom-com. My Mechanical Romance is full of hope and passion and does a beautiful job of illustrating the importance of women in STEM. It’s an overall powerful book with a wonderful message. Definitely a book I think every rom-com reader should read!
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