Book Review: Tell Me How You Really Feel ARC by Aminah Mae Safi

Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

PAGES:

320 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

Standalone Novel

RELEASE DATE: 

June 11th 2019

PUBLISHER:

Feiwel & Friends

SOURCE:

Physical ARC

Please note that I receive most ARCs in exchange for honest reviews but this does not have an effect on the authenticity of the review itself. Reviews on books that have not yet been released are always spoiler free. ARCs may differ from final book!

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

GoodReads

IndieBound

Amazon

Audible

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Author’s Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strong willed young women falling for each other despite themselves.

MY REVIEW

I’m going to be honest right now – ALL I WANT TO READ RIGHT NOW IS LESBIAN/BISEXUAL ROMANCE. I’m not really sure where its coming from but I think because there is just so little of it, its all I want.

This book came to me at the perfect timing. Now, let’s be real – I would’ve read it regardless of the subject because its Aminah and she’s awesome and a fun author friend and her debut was fantastic so OF COURSE I was going to read this but when I heard what it was about, I knew I had to read it even more. Luckily, I received an ARC – yay! – and was able to read it earlier. Which means my review is uber uber late but let’s pretend I’m SUPER on top of my reviews okay?

Aminah has said that this is basically a Rory and Paris, from Gilmore Girls, fan fiction and I’m so here for it and I definitely felt that as I was reading it. I definitely loved both of the girls – there is something so damn refreshing about having two strong, intelligent, ambitious girls in the same story and not competing. Sure, there is definitely some animosity there FOR SURE but they aren’t competing for the same thing – they each have their goals, their ambitions and screw anyone who tries to get in their way. It makes them both such dynamic and interesting characters.

It also makes for an interesting transition from enemies to friends to more. That’s my FAVORITE kind of story and Aminah does SUCH a fantastic job at doing that. I love the enemies to lovers story line – its been used for so long – think Pride and Prejudice – but its because it works so well! Hate, dislike, anger, etc are just great breeding grounds for sexual tension and I think it takes a talented writer to take that story and make me believe that two characters who hate each other could actually love each other. Aminah definitely does that and not once does it feel forced and anything other than completely genuine.

I also really like that this story was not a coming out story. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love those and they are extremely important. But its nice to have a novel where two girls fall in love just as any other characters could fall in love, without their sexuality being the forefront of the story. Both Sana and Rachel know they’re gay – its just about finding that right person. We don’t get straight romances where they figure out they’re straight and THEN comes the romance so it felt nice to get that kind of storyline here. It just felt natural and I really appreciated that. I also love that there was the diversity in there but it wasn’t just for the sake of diversity. Sana’s diversity was just part of the story, as natural as her sexuality. Aminah writes the world as we see it and I really love that.

Lastly, I really loved that it was more than just the love story between Sana and Rachel – it was a love story for Los Angeles. I’ve grown up in Southern California my entire life, sitting at the border of LA County and Orange County and I’ve spent most of my life in LA, exploring the different neighbors, finding all the hidey-hole shops and venues and restaurants but also loving everything tourist-y and cheesy about it too. I love recognizing things I knew and learning about the things I didn’t. It shows that you can live here your whole life and still have so many things to discover.

All in all, a FANTASTIC follow up to Aminah’s debut novel. I would say I loved it even more than the first and I truly enjoyed her debut. I genuinely cannot wait to see what she does next!

RATING:

5 out of 5 Stars

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