ARC Review: My Mechanical Romance

Title: My Mechanical Romance
Author: Alexene Farol Follmuth
Publication date: May 31st
Age-range/genre: Young Adult / Contemporary, Romance
Trigger warnings: misogyny, sexism.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Summary: [from goodreads]

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.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

recommended for: fans of the rivals-to-lovers trope, strong female characters, girls in STEM, and cute romance novels

My Mechanical Romance was a wonderfully sweet (yet still angsty) contemporary novel that explores what it’s like to be a teenage girl with an interest in the STEM field in a misogynistic world, how ambition is not something to be scared of, and how important it is to let go of other people’s expectations. A mix of seriousness and fluff, it’s a contemporary novel I adored reading.


thank you to Netgalley for providing me an eARC for this novel in exchange for an honest review


initial thoughts
women in STEM
ending thoughts


[…] If I want the world to recognise what I am truly capable of, I have to show them.

My Mechanical Romance (unproofed edition)

  initial thoughts  

YA Romances is not a genre I delve into often, but as this was written Alexene (aka Olivie Blake, author of The Atlas Six) and had an interesting setting (robotics team!) I was incredibly excited to read this. I devoured this book in the space of a day, which is not something I’ve done in a while, because it was just so interesting and easy to read.

My Mechanical Romance focuses on Bel, a new student at a private school who is incredibly smart but not very ambitious, and Teo, the president of the Robotics team and all around golden boy. When Bel is asked to try out for the Robotics team, she and Teo initially clash before forming a friendship turned romance.

The only time I really like who I am is when I’m trying to make something work.

My Mechanical Romance (unproofed edition)

  women in STEM 

I did not expect the book to so heavily delve into the issues of misogyny and sexism within the field of technology and mechanics, and how much is experienced by women in STEM. You see it in even the most passing comments, when someone in the background says they thought Bel was only let into the Robotics team for “diversity” reasons. While some of the side characters are never ones to outright say something so callous, even they have their deep-rooted misogyny as they constantly check on the girls and see if they need help, but never would go to the girls for assistance.

It shows that misogyny in this field, or in general, is not always outright and with malicious intent. It’s so deeply rooted and taught that it’s in our actions and words – and that means it is so important for all of us to unlearn that.

Even though it had my blood boiling in those scenes, when Bel is so easily written off and downtrodden, the message behind it was genuinely so important. And it made me so happy to see her rise above it and learn that being ambitious is not wrong, and to finally believe in her talents.

“I feel like you think the worst of me.”

“Who says I think anything of you?”

My Mechanical Romance (unproofed edition)


I really adored both Bel and Teo. I related more to Teo with his Type A personality and need to control everything. I described as the “golden boy” because he was loved and looked up to by so many people, but that does not mean he was without faults. It’s because so many people relied on him that he felt like he needed to micromanage everything to make things perfect, and why he easily dismissed people (i.e Bel) who would point out any faults in his plans.

I’m incredibly glad we got Teo’s POV because otherwise I likely would have hated him for seeming so narcissistic. You see the pressure he feels, how he cannot let anyone down, and I really felt for him and his pain. So many people relied on Teo, to the point where he put them before his health because he couldn’t fathom letting anyone down.

Bel, on the other hand, was a less ambitious but still highly skilled. Immediately upon beginning the novel, you see Bel has forgotten to do a project worth half her grade for a class, and was scrambling to get it done on the day. If that doesn’t introduce you to her Type B personality, then it’s later made evident to when she shows up to the Robotics team try-outs mostly unprepared. She hadn’t even wanted to join the Robotics team, but her teacher had asked to at least try out. Despite all of this, I couldn’t help but love her. She was sassy and creative, and a little hot-headed but I was so fond of how she would try to stand up for herself.

[…] nobody has ever, in the history of time, fallen in love in a robotics lab.

My Mechanical Romance (unproofed edition)


I can speak for lengths on the romance. It was just so incredibly cute. I’m a sucker for Romance novels that have the perspectives of both people in the couple, because you can see the pining from both characters, and it was clear as day here. Their dialogue too was so fun to read, especially as they started off as rivals so their dialogue was very witty and catty towards each other. That soon changed as their relationship progressed, less catty but still fun dialogue to read.

Teo and Bel brought the best out of each other, evident through the course of the novel. Overall, Bel is the one who I think grew the most, both because of Teo and her environment. It showed that being in a school environment where you receive encouragement and compassion, you are able to flourish and excel.


Altogether, I really enjoyed this novel so much. It somehow managed to be fun and cute, but also serious and angsty. I loved the characters and reading both of their perspectives, and how both POVs tackled things like sexism and parental expectations. It’s a great contemporary novel and so important for teenagers pursuing to be in the STEM field.


Thank you for reading!
Let me know if you’re planning on reading My Mechanical Romance!

Links for My Mechanical Romance:


10 thoughts on “ARC Review: My Mechanical Romance

  1. I had seen this around but i never really looked into it until i read your review haha- it sounds so cute!! I haven’t read the atlas six yet even though it sounds so fascinating, but i’ve hear great things about olivie blake’s writing, so this one definitely goes on my tbr!!
    I’m so glad we’re getting more of women in STEM these days- and yess we love sassy female leads!! And omg i already feel for teo even though i haven’t read the book yet lol.
    Overall i feel this one’s gonna be super cute and interesting, and a perfect summer read- can’t wait to get to it!! Loved your review saima <33

    Liked by 1 person

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