Cover Image: The Trouble with Robots

The Trouble with Robots

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Member Reviews

This was an adorable read. What I like about it is that it has diverse characters. The art is also cute. I hope there will be more queer middle grade books in the future
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Our main characters are Evelyn (who is autistic and bisexual) and Allie (questioning aroace). Evelyn absolutely love robotics, but she likes to be in control of everything and is pushing her teammates away. When Allie is forced to join the robotics class as a last chance to turn things around after her outbursts in school, she is initially reluctant. Despite a rocky start, Evelyn and Allie find a way to work together, and as their friendship blossoms, they help each other turn things around. I absolutely loved this story, the personal growth of all the characters was incredible, but especially Evelyn and Allie. I would love to read more books by this author!
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I had high hopes for this, and it did not disappoint. I would love to see more people reading this, because it's such a great middlegrade story that deserves a lot more ratings and reviews!

From the very first page, this book punched me in the gut with how emotionally invested I immediately felt. When you're 13, your emotions all feel so heightened and intense, and this was really palpable throughout the entire book.

The book has two main character: Evelyn, who is autistic and (I assume) bisexual, and Addie, who is questioning aroace. Evelyn already loves robotics and Addie is just getting into it, and they start off fighting, but throughout the book, they figure out that maybe they could get along great and even be friends.

As an autistic and aroace person, it was really great to see this representation in one book! And I especially loved how fleshed out both characters were and how they each had very clear flaws but were also so loveable.
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A fun book about competition, friendship, and the importance of working together. Loved the representation and I love any middle grade or teen book set in a STEM world. Very much recommend.
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This middle grade book was quite an enjoyable read. I know nothing of robots but it was interesting reading about it from the two POV's of our MC's.

The side characters were rich and added so much to the stories. Same for the background of our lead characters. Life has thrown quite some challenges at them and it's quite interesting to see how they deal with it.

An ARC was provided via Netgalley in return of an honest review.
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Nice stem/robotics book and I like the characters! Hoping for more from this author in the future and I think it's a good book!
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This book felt like the worst mirror possible. Evelyn felt like the worst parts of my autistic self with none of the positive. Some people may enjoy reading about flawed characters but I do not enjoy spending the first third of a book with a protagonist that shows no interesting qualities and commits the fatal sin of being an annoying protagonist. I know I am annoying, bossy, self-centered and I can't help it but this book felt like a slap to the face because the author is fully aware of how unlikeable Evelyn is being (to give her a character arc I assume). But if you don't give me anything I am interested in in the first third of the book I will quit. I almost did if it were not for Allie.

Let's say this book was really for me because I share a lot of characteristics with the two protagonists but I really really appreciated to have Allie as a character suffering from the loss of her parents at a young age. I really find it hard to accurate representation of traumatic grief in children. Of course coping mechanisms vary from children to children so while I am not Allie this made her story more enjoyable. 

Nothing to say about the plot as this is a middle grade book
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The Trouble with Robots has all the elements of an outstanding middle grade novel: an exciting school competition (with robots!), unlikely allies who turn out to be true friends, autistic and LGBT+ representation, and two main characters fall in love with and root for. Evelyn is a perfectionist who struggles to give up control, and Allie is an angry girl who can't stay out of trouble. When the two are thrown together in robotics club, they challenge and learn from each other and become friends, while navigating the excitement and ups and downs of robotics tournaments. A great read!
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<b>*4.25 Stars*</b>

Evelyn is the leader of her robotics team but things are not going well. Her teammates resent her and the bad vibe has become so bad that they got disqualified from a tournament. The teacher in charge gives Evelyn one last chance to let her teammates actually be part of the team before she replaces her.
Allie has been through some shit and now she lashes out. She has been kicked out of many classes for talking back to teachers and fighting. So the principal gives her one more chance, she has to stay in the robotics class, that's the last elective class she hasn't been taken out of, if she can't stay in it, she'll have to change school, and Allie cannot fathom disappointing her grandmother that way.
The problem is that Allie and Evelyn do not get along. Their strong personalty do not go well together and the two clash immediately, but they'll have to make it work if they want to reach their goals.

This was an interesting read. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't exactly that. I read it pretty fast and enjoyed it. I liked the characters, I liked the diversity, especially the different disabilities we saw throughout the book. I teared up a bit at times, I laughed a bit too. It was truly enjoyable. I also liked the whole robotics tournament thing. It was kind of fun and new to me. i really liked the side characters as well, especially the teammates, Evelyn's parents and Allie's gran.
Basically, this was a fun yet heavy middle grade. I love an autistic bi pov just as much as I like an ace one. If any of this sounds appealing at all, my advice is to just go for it!
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This book was a delight. I was a bit apprehensive in beginning cause originally I was not enjoying Allie even though I understood the emotional mess she was in.

The moment they started working together my enjoyoment increased so much.
I really appreciated the autism representation. 

"Having fun doesn.t make your grief less real."
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This was a lovely little book with a whole coming of age arc. The ending almost had me in tears, it was kinda expected, but still very wholesome. Sadly it did take me some time to warm up to this book. It was a long story, that could've been better if it was just a bit shorter - at times it was a bit boring. Its also a bit hard to get into, as in the first half of the book I did not like the characters at all, although this was probably done on purpose, to get that arc just right. 

I loved how inclusive this book is though - and it also showed me I have no idea how grades work, for the better part of this book I thought these kids were 11 years old and was very confused with all the relationship talk :"). 

All in all, this book is wonderful for STEM and non-STEM enthousiasts, and a great coming of age novel.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher Peachtree, and the author Michelle Mohrweis for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

The Trouble with Robots was a delightful debut that I enjoyed way more than I expected! The book follows 8th graders Evelyn and Allie through chapters with alternating perspectives, two girls that could not be more different yet connect through their robotics class. Evelyn is autistic and loves robotics more than anything, but she faces challenges as the Team Lead with being too controlling. On the other hand, Allie has no interest in robotics but has to join the class if she wants to stay at her school. Throughout the novel, readers see both sides of the girls' stories and learn more about them as individuals and eventually friends while they work together to lead their robotics team to an important tournament. 

I am hesitant about STEM/STEAM novels because it is not a personal interest of mine, and I feel that there is an oversaturation of anything related to these topics in the market. However, this one definitely stood out to me and had me hooked from the start. The characters are all engaging, and I liked that the alternating perspectives included someone who was not "all in" to robotics at first. Any reader, whether it be someone picking it up for the subject matter or someone just curious, will be able to relate to different aspects of the story. I genuinely found myself rooting for their team throughout and would love to see future stories that focused more on some of the side characters. There is SO much diversity throughout, with loads of LGBTQ+ rep (including aro/ace and nonbinary rep, which was AMAZING to see in a middle grade!!), as well as ethnic and cultural diversity. I also appreciated the representation of a character with autism and other major discussions of grief and mental health. Everything was handled in a way that is approachable and appealing for younger readers. I do feel that the girls' voices were not always distinct, and I would have liked to see some visual elements in Allie's chapters, since that was a big part of the storyline. Although not the most lifechanging book I've ever read, I think this has potential to be very popular with the middle grade crowd, due to the anime-style cover, diverse characters, and STEAM subject matter. I am curious to see if this becomes a series, and I look forward to future works by Mohrweis!
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The Trouble with Robots has a story and artwork that is likely to engage young audiences. Also, highly recommended work with much-needed representation.
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This was a great book, loved the aro/ace rep
And the bi rep and mlm rep, amazing, the development of the team was great
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I liked the title, cover and illustration which made me request the book. I liked the simple characters with the narration which was straightforward.
It was okay I guess, the story was a little slow at the start and made me pace my reading to suit it. 
I wish it had a little more depth, It is not something that suits my reading tastes and I give such books a try when I am in a great reading spur. I would recommend it to people who like slow-but-turning-fast paced books.
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This funny and heartfelt STEAM friendship story swept me off my feet. Here are three reasons why:

The Main Characters
Evelyn loves everything about robotics class, but this isn’t some fanciful hobby. Winning robotics competitions is Evelyn’s ticket to college, an engineering career, and helping her cash-strapped moms. A trip to the world’s robotics competition will seal the deal and allow her to see her best—and only—friend, who recently moved to another state.

But as the story opens, Evelyn’s bossiness and I-can-do-it-better-myself attitude has alienated her teammates and led to disaster. Her teacher has given her one last chance to prove she can be an effective leader for her junior high’s robotics Team B.

Meanwhile, Allie—do not call her Allison—might be spending more time at the principal’s office and in-school suspension than in class these days. Since Allie’s parents died in a car crash about a year ago, a beast has grown inside her and it’s eager to rage.

Allie, a talented artist, has zero interest in robotics, but if she gets kicked out of one more elective, she’ll be sent to the school for bad kids, and that would really disappoint her loving grandmother.

The dual pov works really well here, offering insight into well-rounded characters who keep a lot inside. Evelyn hasn’t told her team that she has anxiety and is autistic, which is why she avoids eye contact and wears over-the-ear headphones to muffle the noises that are too loud and jarring. Allie hasn’t told anyone about her parents, fearing their pity.

Evelyn and Allie are smart, creative, good-hearted characters—loveable in their very human imperfections as they try to do better, mess up, and try again.

The Plot
Evelyn and Allie stumble when first forced to work together. But they adapt, especially when they learn the principal might cut the school’s robotics program. 

Under Evelyn’s leadership—and with Allie’s help—Team B evolves from a group of random kids to a team that values each contributor’s gifts. The journey to true friendship among group members is believable and inspiring.

The author, a robotics and engineering teacher, clearly knows their stuff. They sprinkle in all kinds of cool details that robotics and other STEM kids will enjoy. But if, like me, you know nothing about robotics, don’t worry. I never felt lost or bored.

There are fun twists here. The heart-pounding finale brought tears to my eyes and gave me chills.

Diversity Rep
The range of diversity is deep, wide, and refreshing. The Team B kids represent a variety of races, cultures, abilities, and income levels—all with their own personalities, perspectives and interests—like real kids. There are gay kids and straight kids, and I especially appreciated that Evelyn has crushes on girls and boys, and Allie doesn’t have those feelings about anybody. She later learns she might be aromatic or asexual, identities that are new to her. This kind of representation is especially important for middle grade readers. The onslaught of puberty brings pressure to couple up or at least pine over someone from afar. Readers need to know that if they or someone they know likes more than one gender or isn’t interested in that kind of thing, that’s fine. There’s no one right way to be human.

Kids who are autistic or into robotics will likely enjoy seeing aspects of themselves in these pages. I think it’s just as important for all kids to meet these characters. This story encourages readers to embrace their weird and wonderful authentic selves and to look beyond the surface when meeting others.
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It was a nice read. I enjoyed this book and the characters were very well written.

Though I probably would not read something like this again because it is not my cup of tea.
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This was such a sweet book. I love how the characters' behaviour changed with time and how we could see what made that happen.
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The Trouble With Robots was a fun read. The dual POVs made the overarching story of friendship powerful! I loved how unique the two narrators were and how they learned to work together despite their differences. All the robot class details were fantastic! I learned lots about engineering.
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Evelyn and Allie are complete opposites of each other, but they get placed on the same robotics team - the one Evelyn is struggling to lead. When they learn the principle wants to cut robotics program, can they all pull it together to succeed? Can Evelyn learn to lead her team so she can remain the team leader? And can Allie contain her outbursts so she's not kicked out of robotics, and also her school? 

This book gets one giant YES from me. It's told in dual POV with chapters from Evelyn & Allie's POV and we see so much character growth within both of them.

Evelyn is autistic and is struggling to lead her robotics team. She struggles in communication and wanting everything to be perfect, so she does all the work. When she's threatened with losing her spot as team leader, she tries to improve her leadership skills. However, she can't do it alone. She needs the help of Allie, who she got off on the wrong foot with.

Allie is suffering from grief and has outbursts of anger with her teachers. This has resulted in her being kicked out of class after class, and robotics is her last chance. She hates that she's put into robotics and acts out once again. That is, until she learns just how she can be helpful to the robotics team.

I'll leave all the details of just how these characters achieve their character growth a surprise, but it's wonderful to read both of their perspectives, and to see just how they function as people and how they overcome their difficulties together.

The representation in this book is so well done and we have so much of it, from queerness to BIPOC characters to disability and more. This is going to be such an important book for middle grade readers and even for older readers as well who will see themselves here.

We also see a little bit of Allie questioning her sexual and romantic orientations, and we see questioning of aro & ace identities. I absolutely love seeing this in middle grade books because Allie's thoughts and feelings so much mirrored my thoughts and feelings in middle school, only I didn't have the words to define or even understand it. I really hope this book will help young questioning aro & ace kids and give them the words necessary to learn about themselves.

Rep: autistic MC, MC with anxiety, bi MC, questioning aroace MC, achillean SCs, nonbinary SC, BIPOC SCs, SC with cerebral palsy

CW: bullying, car crash (past), parental death (past), grief/anger, autistic meltdown, money insecurity, verbal abuse

Rating system:
5 - absolutely love, little-to-no dislikes that did not impact my reading experience

4 - great book, minor dislikes that did have an impact on my reading experience

3 - good/decent book but for some reason did not hook me or there were some problematic things that just were not addressed or greatly impacted my reading experience

2 - is either a book I did not click with and did not enjoy, problematic aspects are not addressed and severely impacted my reading experience, or I DNF'd but think it has potential for others

1 - is very problematic, I would not recommend the book to anyone
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