Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Repair a Mechanical Heart (Mechanical Hearts, #1)” as Want to Read:
How to Repair a Mechanical Heart (Mechanical Hearts, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart

(Mechanical Hearts #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,875 ratings  ·  500 reviews
Eighteen-year-old Castaway Planet fans Brandon and Abel hate bad fan fiction—especially when it pairs their number-one TV crushes of all time, dashing space captain Cadmus and dapper android Sim. As co-runners of the Internet’s third most popular Castaway Planet vlog, they love to spar with the “Cadsim” fangirls who think Cadmus will melt Sim’s mechanical heart by the ...more
Kindle Edition, 255 pages
Published September 21st 2012
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rdd It is available now. Looks like Amazon has it.…moreIt is available now. Looks like Amazon has it. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,875 ratings  ·  500 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Repair a Mechanical Heart (Mechanical Hearts, #1)
Julio Genao
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who aspires to transcend a childhood poisoned by religion.
Shelves: loved
Nothing less than completely marvelous.


Full of joy, and humor, and the thing in all of us worth writing about.

Snappy dialogue, a wonderful cast of secondary characters, and the tasty, J.C. Lillis Brand writing that bring the boys to the yard.

(And subsequently me as well, as I am a fan of the boys.)

Her prose is delicious.

And this story is as close to the story my heart wants to tell as makes no difference.

Santino Hassell
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, favorite
I can relate to this book in bits and pieces.

I was raised Catholic but when my parents found me with a guy, they knew Catholic guilt wouldn't stick. They weren't religious enough themselves. They went the "you're less of a man, you're a failure as a son" route instead. But even without the religious component, I still made the connection. This book was really about being taught to believe certain things, being trained to feel like you should fulfill certain expectations, and the fucking tragedy
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Don't hate me friends... I'm struggling a little with how to write a coherent review for this book. As with any book that most of my Goodreads friends love and I don't quite connect with in the same way, I feel like I missed the party bus and I'm left standing in the dust waving my hands screaming "Guys! Wait up!! You forgot about me!" I so so so wanted to be invited to the "How to Repair a Mechanical Heart" love-fest but I think my own personal preferences got in the way.

Let me start with what
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I owe this book a gushy opinion -- but I did need time to write up a proper one. THIS, was my first reaction after I finished it: I went drawing pink little hearts around this book, and write AMI-LUV-U-4EVER for the Church of Abandon...

Anywaaaay, few hours after that first posted opinion, I am ready for a proper one. WARNING: This is going to be loooooong, especially because it will start with a personal story. You all just have to suck it up!

My first fandom was back in the
Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*

Hey_mamacitas!!! Listen to me, will ya?



I need to come back with a proper review but right now I can only FANGIRL like craaaaazy!

And yes, this is me kissing the book, because that's how I roll...


Thanks Susan and Lenore, your reviews made me bump this up, I owe you big time x
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From the first word I fell in love with this the last word I loved this book.

When you read the volumes of books that fans of this genre read in a year, things start muddling together, there are books that you love, and there are books you REALLY love...BLOWN AWAY though that's hard to come by. Happens very rarely...And then there are stories that come out of left field and bitch slap you in the nose and go Hey come here and get to know a little thing called PRIME QUALITY WRITING!!!
prag ♻
If I could pay people to read this book, I would. As it is, all I want is to:
Because this is a book worth reading. It’s a book worth loving. This is why I read: so that once in a while, I come across a book that changes my worldview. Sure, the protagonist’s struggle with his religion and sexuality was incredibly important, but the big deciding factor for me on this one was that I really enjoyed it. But then, who wouldn’t?
Fanfiction? Check.
Vlogger protagonists? Check.
Adorable characters?
Emma Sea
Inarticulate squeeing and love is all I got at this point.

*hugs book*

Some next-day thoughts:

Although Abel and Brandon are the MCs, I thought the shippers were the star of this book. They are the women and girls who had me laughing and smiling to myself like a madwoman.

For a cute, light read, this actully addresses some deep angst and internal conflict involved in being Catholic and gay. I'm making some huge assumptions here, because I am neither Catholic nor gay, so I don't know if this
I can't review this right now because I'm bouncing and squeeing all over the place and exploding into sparkling confetti and little shiny hearts.

Had it not been for the religious stuff, I'd have five-stared this book in a heartbeat. It's four and a half stars; four stars for the story and a half star for the Punxsutawney Phil reference.
I keep asking for signs. And here she is. Someone who prays to a neon Virgin Mary and lives her whole life in all-caps and thinks God and my happiness go together just fine.

Wow. This was so incredibly cute and heartwarming, and it's definitely a new favorite of mine.

Brandon lives in a very religious family, to which he came out as gay not long ago. They didn't take it well, bringing their priest into it and all, but allow him to go on a six-weeks road trip with his friend Bec, in the hopes
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars...bright, shining stars...

I ADORED this book…like hugging my Kindle and giving it a peck on the cheek and then the forehead and a light tap on the cheek kind of adoration.

If I had any talent, THIS would be the book I would have wanted to write…because it’s me in a nutshell (well, if I was 18 again, and male, and gay…but yeah, in every other sense…)

1. I’m a total geek, especially sci fi (Battlestar Galactica is my personal favorite. And yes, I’ve been to ComicCon…many times)
2. I love
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it

This is probably the book where Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The book's title promises wonderful things, but it doesn't deliver (much).

This is the story of two 18 yo high school graduate boys, Brandon and Abel, who write fanficton about their favorite TV show.

We see everything that happens from Brandon's POV. Brandon is a very complex character. He has come out of the closet, but in some ways, he's still in. He has always been a good religious catholic boy, and being gay
I am one man with a laptop. When I give the world my characters, it's because I don't want to keep them for myself. You don't like what I made them do? Fucking tell me I'm wrong! Rewrite the story. Throw in a new plot twist. Make up your own ending.
I went into this thinking it was a cute cheesy contemporary, something like Geekerella, but gayer, which I can finish in a day and and swoon over it for rest of the week. I didn't expect it to be this much deep and this much relatable.

Brandon is a
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: various-romance
Such a clever story! It's about two guys Brandon and Abel who run a blog about a popular TV show, Castaway Planet. The show has also spawned lots of fanfiction of the slashy kind about the two leading characters, the heroic Captain Cadmus and his sidekick the lifelike (but seemingly emotionless) android Sim.

The story takes place as Brandon and Abel set out on a forbidden road trip (with Brandon's girl BFF, Becca) to attend all the Cons at which the cast of Castaway Planet are appearing. Both
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found my religion: I belong to the Church of Abandon.

I don't think I'm physically able to write a review: I'm squeeing so hard my ears are bleeding. But I'm going to try anyway, hoping I'll manage not to give away any spoilers.

Let me start with this: if I believed in soulmates, Abel and Brandon would be it. This wonderful, dorky, awkward, romantic, sexy, funny, angsty, adorable couple would be the kings of soulmates. The ultimate soulmates.
I have never been so hyper and excited and
Elise (TheBookishActress)
“It's just, when I think about sex or whatever, it's kind of like on tv.”
“Vanilla and hetero?”

I fell in love with this story.

Not only is How To Repair A Mechanical Heart hilarious and adorable, it's also a far more developed and important story than I expected.

This book is a somewhat a parody of fandom and somewhat an ode to fandom. It's not one or the other, and I really liked that. It's like an even better version of Fangirl.

I really loved the characters. Over the course of the story,
Cole Riann
Review posted at The Armchair Reader.

From all that I can find, JC Lillis is a brand new author, and if this book is any idea of the quality of work that she'll produce in the future, I'm a fan for life. Rarely have I ever picked up a book I knew nothing about and loved it quite so much, even waiting almost two whole weeks to write a review of it. I first heard about this book when I saw it on JC Lillis' twitter page and enjoyed the artwork on the cover -- that's what drew me in. The blurb only
Tanu Gill
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a pretty sweet and fun book. I loved the gang of three and the fanfic enemies they got latched with... ;-) Amazing read!!!
This book was super cute. I picked it up late at night, read through half of it till 1 am, rolled out of bed to do a status update, then planned to sleep but decided, "Oh, just one more chapter." Next thing I knew, it was 3 am and I'd finished it.

It essentially tells multiple stories at once, weaving them together quite well. There's the story about the fandom and what's happening there, the story that's cobbled together from pieces of fanfics as representing the MC's changing thought processes,
♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee)
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every single person who is walking this planet
Some of the best YA M/M I've read!!

I'm about to get all fangirl about this book.

Brandon and Abel run a vlog about their favorite sci-fi show Castaway Planet. Brandon's the short, shy boy who was brought up Catholic and who just came out to his very religious parents. He's got a shitload of hang-ups and a whole bunch of guilt.

Abel's the tall, outgoing, slightly outrageous and very lively out and proud boy who charms everyone and lives life to the fullest.

The guys love their show Castaway
Heather C
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heather C by: Lauraadriana
Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant!!

This was one of those books where I kinda skimmed the blurb and thought: No way will I like this! But I will give it a fair try. How wrong was I?! Yeah, it's nothing like what I would normally read, but once I started reading it I didn't want to stop. And when I had to stop, I was dying to get back to reading it.

So, this is the story about Brandon, a college bound teenager on his journey to self discovery and acceptance. Literally and figuratively. He and his
I loved this book, and am mad at myself for dragging my feet on reading it. It's charming and funny and sweet and romantic and it's such a fun depiction of fandom while also really beautifully tackling the intersection of homosexuality and faith. I think the final push for me to get this book was Becky Albertalli recommending it for fans of SIMON and oh my God I cannot second that enough - if you loved SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA you really, really need this book.
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars


This book! This book is pure cinnamon scented, “heart whirring” adorableness!

But I need to get this off my chest first….

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis addresses issues I rarely see in print—never mind YA. I don’t see these issues because I try not to mix my religion with my entertainment. Yes, feel free to whisper...She has issues. Haha…It’s true. I’m an east coast Irish bitch with a big, old fashioned Catholic family with all kinds of
Tiya Rosa
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When a book dipped in awesome is practically dedicated to you..


Why did I not read this sooner? Why? You know what, this is what happens when you psych yourself out with glowing reviews and make yourself believe reality could not be as good as the hype and that you should wait for a cheaper copy anyway since Amazon can charge a bit too much for a Kindle copy sometimes and that you should finish that Ward book you started even though it has been feeling like work recently reading how Ward
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I want to have this book's alien babies. Will review later tonight. Love!!!


Huge hugs and a bucket of cinnamon jellybeans to the following fine people:[...]
The magnificent geeks who invented the Internet so other magnificent geeks could find each other and perpetuate the species.

Well said, J.C. Lillis. Well said.

This book is just so much damn fun. Abel and Brandon's vlog, the shipper wars, Hells Bells, the con road trip. It's all just so spot on and so real to my own online shipper experiences
So, I have a lot of rambling thoughts about this book that I’m not even sure I’ll be able to put down here – and definitely not coherently. When I initially finished this book, I felt it a solid 4 stars. I LOVED it, except for one area. I’m not a religious person by any means. I went to an all-girls Catholic school for years, and we were allowed to take a year off of Math and Science, but it was required to take a religious studies course every year. Mass was every Friday. We had Chapel. We had ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
HOLY FUCKING BATMAN IN SPACE IN A WASHING BASKET POWERED BY SQUEE, THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME. I'm writing this at 03h22 after having started reading about 4 hours ago. I kept wanting to put it down and go to sleep. At one point around 01h30 I actually took off my glasses, put out the light and tried, but I just couldn't do it. I tossed and turned and then thought, 'fuck it' and finished it. Other people have written far more coherent reviews than I, so go read those. But suffice it to say that this ...more
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maleonmale, standalone, ya

In GR 3, I saw this boy. And I thought WOW, (to my 8/9 year old brain) he's so cute.
What I didn't see was the colour of his skin. Because to me, people are people right.

So fast forward.

GR 9- I start dating a black boy, I still didn't see colour, just that I liked this guy and he liked me. So win-win right.


Not so much, cause my parents, who are Serbian down to their bones, didn't agree with this.
That year was turmoil! To my soul, cause I saw my parents in a different light. Not as the
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Snowtulip by: Lauraadriana
Shelves: m-m
So when I started reading this, I thought I'd have a fun little read to get me between the more "serious" reads. Wow, was I surprised! What I read was something that made me laugh (constantly), made my heartbreak (just a bit), and provided so much real life depth (oh Brandon) that I wanted to read it all over again immediately after I finished.

I absolutely love the way the author weaved this story together, even as Brandon is questioning years of indoctrination, he has humor in his head
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Backlot Gay B...: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart 3 32 Aug 02, 2013 05:01AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Know Not Why (Know Not Why, #1)
  • Been Here All Along
  • A Boy Worth Knowing
  • Running With Lions
  • Sock it to Me, Santa!
  • Lock & West
  • Alex in Wonderland
  • Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1)
  • True Letters from a Fictional Life
  • Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked
  • Gives Light (Gives Light, #1)
  • Fan Art
  • There Goes Sunday School
  • One Man Guy (One Man Guy, #1)
  • Honestly Ben (Openly Straight, #2)
  • Autoboyography
  • Social Intercourse
  • rock
See similar books…
J.C. Lillis lives in Baltimore with her patient family and a ragtag band of tropical fish, some of which will be dead by the time you read this. She loves thrift store art, dollhouses, koi ponds, retrofuturism, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. She hates writing bios.

Other books in the series

Mechanical Hearts (2 books)
  • A&B (Mechanical Hearts, #2)
"So? I love pretentious people!"
"They try so hard to be interesting, you don't have to do any work.”
“Well, who doesn't love a good mpreg?"
"A what?"
"Sim gets man-pregnant? Gives birth to twins during a tornado?"
"I'll pretend I never heard that."
"Here, I'll read you the wedding one -"
More quotes…