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(Mechanical Hearts #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Eighteen-year-old Barrie Krumholtz is a super-tall optimist hell-bent on a single goal: securing a slot on Pop University, a reality show for singer-songwriters helmed by her #1 musical idol. When she humiliates herself on national TV and loses a spot in the finals to smug balladeer Ava Alvarez, the door to Barrie’s well-hidden dark side swings open. Never a quitter, she u ...more
ebook, 326 pages
Published November 29th 2016
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J.C. Lillis Hi there! A&B is definitely more of a standalone. There are some little inside jokes and callbacks to How to Repair a Mechanical Heart that people who…moreHi there! A&B is definitely more of a standalone. There are some little inside jokes and callbacks to How to Repair a Mechanical Heart that people who read that book will appreciate, but the book can easily be read and understood on its own. (The main couple in HTRAMH have a subplot in A&B, but are not the big focus of this book.)

Thanks for asking (and reading!)(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Elle (ellexamines)
EDIT: guys!! I OFFICIALLY HAVE a blurb on the back of the paperback edition!! so now I have an excuse to buy a copy :') and you all do as well so it's time to make this hilarious book a part of your life bye

This is the best, most underrated f/f contemporary I have ever come across in my life. It's rare to find a book that's happy and hilarious while also being meaningful. A&B is both a fun romance between two very different girls and a story about letting go of your bitterness. When are you all
prag ♻
A & B.

It's just two letters - the first of the alphabet. It's funny how they can come to mean so much.

Buddy read with my favorite Abandon shipper (and J. C. Lilis fan) (also known as Silvia)
I have nothing much to say, except that I loved this tiny book and all the wonderful characters to pieces.

((increasing the rating to five because the deal is the deal))
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Buddy-read with my loyal Church of Abandon girlie Pragya <3

I think 4,5 stars but I'm rounding up to 5 because this made me laugh so much and also ABANDON.

Okay, but let’s back up a little.

• This is a story about 18 year old Barbara (Barrie), a musician with an idol-crush on a singer she idolizes (like many of us do). She takes her chance to be selected for a reality/talent show for singers/composers (where her idol is one of the hosts) and she fails.

• This is a story of how she deals with having
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star

Suki Fleet
Loved this. So so good!! The story is funny, honest, and true. And these characters are overflowing with life. The writing sparkles.

(FARG is staying with me-it still makes me smile XD)

Best YA I've read in ages.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger Warnings: heartbreak, biphobic comments


I don’t know what I expected going into A&B but it definitely wasn’t what I got. I didn’t guess a single thing that would happen throughout this book and at times I was shocked at the direction in which the plot took (especially the end). This story was definitely a fluffy one that didn’t have too much angst throughout. It really spoke about doing what speaks to you and how sometimes you should follow your heart
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f
5 Stars.

Adorable story and endearing characters. ❤

Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-queer-rep, wlw
3.5 Aw. Cheesy, and full of non surprising twists but hey, sometimes a cheesy story about girls falling in love and deciding to live in happiness instead of sadness and envy is exactly what we need.

PS: JC Lillis scared me for a minute when my boys Abel and Brandon weren't happily together but of course she mended that part too... ;)
My face hurts. Literally my cheeks are sore because goddammit I couldn't stop smiling. JC Lillis just knows how to write a book. Her characters are fully realized, her dialogue is perfect, her sentences are glorious, and my god her messages and themes are something to behold. Like, this book was great. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart kinda great. So let's discuss.

A&B follows Barrie Krumholtz an impossible chipper and upbeat person after being eliminated from her favorite TV singing competition,
we should change 'abandon' for 'losers' honestly

barrie and ava are goals

i don't know what to write, my mind shutdowns on me again (why am i like this with Lillis' books) except that IT IS SO CUTE AND SAPPY AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH

y'all should totally read How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and A+B because these books are cute, tooth-achingly AND EXTREMELY UNDERRATED
SapphicAThon: Hate to love

Review also on my blogTwitterBookstagram

A&B is the companion sequel to the book How to Repair a Mechanical Heart. While it can be read on it's own, there are elements in the book that would make more sense if you read the first book first. Especially since the couple from the first book, Abel and Brandon, are quite prominent characters. 

A&B follows Barrie, a musician who has a place on a music reality show. When she's booted off after a sudden death round against
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Splendid novel. Highly recommended. Will come back with full thoughts as soon as I stop smiling at every single thing that was just brilliant about this book:

1- This book is a joy to read, the characters bring perfect agency, the dialogues are witty, clever and make you smile.
2- It is two stories in one, yep. We not only get the main story of Ava and Barrie and their goin ons but we also get quite a peek at Abel and Brandon 10 years on from the road trip of awesome. The way the two couples narra
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Just Love

A&B by J.C. Lillis

I just finished rereading A&B and I think I love it even more the second time. It’s one of those books that upon finishing I want to shout from the rooftops how good it is and tell everyone I know to read it. It can be read as a standalone but if you’ve read How to Repair a Mechanical Heart you’ll be pleased to know that we get lots more of Abel and Brandon. In fact, it’s really more of a two-for-one romance since we get to reconnect with those two as we follow Ava and Barr
Болоржаргал Г.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Aaaaand I just finished a book in one day, in one sitting... and it feels so good...

Found exactly the book I was looking for... it was one of those can’t-put-down, who-cares-it’s-2-am, must-finish-now kind of book... my favorite genre...

Maybe it’s not gonna make my year end top ten list... I’m probably not gonna remember what happens in this one in 3 months... but I realized that I don’t read books to change my life or “like realize stuff”... I read because it helps me to get out of my life and
1.5 stars.

DNF 20%.

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but whatever. This was way too cheesy and over the top for me, and the longer I read it, the more my teeth cracked and fell out of my head from all the ridiculous levels of sugar. Okay, maybe that's not really a fair statement seeing as I only got around 20% of the way through (or maybe it is, considering how cringefully over-the-top Abel and Brandon are), but basically this one just stopped holding my interest and I had to step away for the
4.5 stars, probably. I was honestly a little hesitant going into this book, and I remained hesitant for about the first 20% of the book, but this ended up being such a positive surprise and such a delight.

Basically, our heroine, Barrie (short for Barbara) ends up in a sudden-death competition with a girl named Ava in a songwriting reality competition TV show in which her all-time favorite pop star is a host/judge/mentor/something. Barrie humiliates herself on national TV, Ava who knows nothing a
Read for the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym (okay, I mean, J.C. is not particularly male, but it's ambiguous. You get my drift).

I've wanted to read this book for a while, but kept pushing it off, because I still don't have a Kindle, but anyway, yesterday I woke up to some heartbreaking messages and I needed some emergency stuff to distract me. This was the worst and best book I could have picked.

Best because the story is incredibly compelli
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
It took a while to get into it, the first part wasn’t my thing but the second part more than made up for that. I loved it.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was FANTASTIC!

the enemies to lovers trope is so powerful
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very slow burn. I read this not having read book one and it still worked for me. Book one blurb did not work for me so I skipped it and all's good. Well worth the time. ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, series, lgbt, faves, ff-romance
THIS IS IT! The book I have been waiting for since I read Everything Leads To You about 2.5 years ago. FF romance is unfortunately riddled with terribly written books. It's so damn hard to find something that is well written, and has a cute couple that I can ship the fuck out of. But A&B managed to just do it all for me.

It's funny, emotional, has an adorable pairing with great banter and a lovely message to go with. I am always here for the enemies to lovers troupe, although they weren't really
Oh this is a lovely delicious treat, not least of all because of how much Abel & Brandon we get. It's gloriously snarky, and exudes good will and optimism, even when Evil Barrie is in charge (well, thinks she is).

One major sad point is Barrie's mum. A lowlight if you will (but entirely realistic). But for the rest of it, Ava, and all the people Barrie comes into contact with, who help her learn, and not only carry on, but put herself out there to be the best she can be, well, like I said, glorio
Rebecca Bendheim
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f
Imagine jamming in a convertible with the top down to the catchiest, wildest, pure-love pop song you've ever heard. That's what reading this book feels like. ...more
Lily Mordaunt

Even as I write this review, I’m not sure if I want to rate it 3 or 4 stars.
The book begins with Ava and Barrie in a sudden death battle for the reality show Pop University. When Barrie—the pop song writer—loses to Ava—the angstier writer of heartbreak—Barrie’s carefully crafted plan to suppress what she views as her inherently negative side, crumbles. She embraces her envy and jealousy and, in a weird twist is helped along by her rival, Ava when they strike up a mutually beneficial deal.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a lovely, sweet, funny book. Although it's a coming of age story with a love story mixed in, for me it's an ageless tale about the joys of and value of creativity within collaboration.

Even when the heroine is at her most down, she still reaches out to others - to her boss, to a fellow songwriter, to fans, to the online community, to her audience. Her own songwriting and stage work involves their input and helps to heal them. When things go wrong, from public humiliation to parental abandon
Jessica Maggio
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soft wlw stories are.... so important.....

Abel was not wrong: there's nothing like the enemies to lovers trope. Also, the self-callout? Classic. So meta.

My favorite part of the book was that mutual pining wasn't even... really.... a thing. I mean it was but not in a way where they didn't know about each other's feelings. That can get really trying because you're sitting there reading like "OH MY GOD JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER JESUS CHRIST!"
This was mutual pining but in a way where they both knew wh
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the best barometer of a book's worth to me is to wait a year or so and see how much of it I still remember. A couple of times I've given an average rating and spent the next year digesting just how terrible the book was, and other times I give a high rating and can’t quite recall the emotional experience, and second guess myself for being overly generous.

In starting A&B, I genuinely questioned the five star rating I had given Mechanical Hearts and wrote it off as just the mood I was in
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved How to repair a mechanical heart, and liked this one sadly less. What I really liked was the development of the relationship between Barrie and Ava, and how much Brandon and Abel where part of the book.
I loved how we could learn how their relationship had changed over the years and how they still worked at their own happiness together.
For me there was to much tv-drama going on, with issues that didn't seem realistic to me, for example, that Ava could talk and text with Barrie for hours
Jun 27, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me over 2 years to finish this book; as such, I can't reasonably give it more than a three. With that said...

- Representation matters, and this book features LGBTQ characters
- The book has a happy, but not fairy tale ending
- The book has some helpful (if not entirely new) thoughts on the relationship between art and mental health

- It took me two years to finish the dang book. Needless to say, it wasn't a page-turner
- The included poetry and song lyrics are pretty meh in my opin
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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)
  • How to Repair a Mechanical Heart (Mechanical Hearts, #1)

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