For fans of STEM heroines, My Mechanical Romance is for you. Mateo and Bel could not be more opposite….in some ways. I think what I loved the most from My Mechanical Romance is the ways Farol Follmuth explores the sexism in STEM fields. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I love to see STEM girls! So in My Mechanical Romance in this dual POV story, Farol Follmuth delivers a story that revolves around family and engineering. While my favorite has to be Bel, I enjoyed reading both Bel and Mateo’s POV. For Bel, she’s struggling feeling torn in her family. Stuck between having to figure out if she can forgive her father while also staying with her mother. Her entire family seems to be taking sides and she isn’t sure where her love belongs. At the same time, she doesn’t know what she wants to do.
A MC who doesn’t know what she wants to major in or go to college was so refreshing to see. I feel like as a teen I fell into a path. And reading about all these MCs who are so driven and determined, while there’s a place for that, there’s also one for a MC who doesn’t know. In this respect, she couldn’t be more opposite from Mateo. Mateo who is so committed to this path in front of us, but also at the same time, so lost. He’s so busy trying to figure out which version of himself he will be. The person that people need from him. The one with all the answers.
My Mechanical Romance is able to balance these characters. Their journeys of discovery. Of finding out their own limitations and what it means to make space. To take up space, earn a seat at the table. I have come to associate Farol Follmuth (aka Olivia Blake) with character detail and development. And this is true as well with My Mechanical Romance. Furthermore, the romance aspect goes from not exactly nemesis, but certainly frosty, to something more. It’s important to find someone who will call us out.
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Someone who knows that we don’t always need them to fix our problems. Just to listen. My Mechanical Romance is precious not only to watch the characters bloom, but to watch them navigate the sexism in STEM. I wanted to shout for Bel each time! It’s a splendid YA debut which is perfect for contemporary fans. Find My Mechanical Romance on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.