I had the chance to read Tell Me How You Really Feel early thanks to Courtney @ Buried in a Bookshelf, who set up a traveling ARC tour. I adore rom-coms, and Tell Me How You Really Feel is such a wonderful edition to the genre!
Sana is an overachiever—she’s a straight A student, was accepted into Princeton through early admission, and is also the captain of the cheerleading squad— and Rachel has hated her ever since Sana asked her out freshman year. Rachel is an aspiring director and is only at their school due to a scholarship thanks to the film teacher. She’s felt on the outskirts at this school since the day she arrived so of course she despises that Sana pulled a cruel prank by asking her out…what she does’t know is that Sana was being serious…and that she still has a slight crush on Rachel. When Sana accidentally breaks a piece of the filming equipment, Rachel’s advisor forces Sana to star in Rachel’s senior project, which should have been completed months ago and is her last chance at securing a scholarship to her dream school. While Rachel may hate this arrangement, she’s soon to find out that Sana just might be the missing piece of her film…and heart.
I first heard of this book from the author describing it as if Rory and Paris had gotten together in Gilmore Girls and oh my goodness that is such a spot on comparison. There are so many Gilmore Girls vibes throughout the novel—from Sana’s mom leaving her family when she was young single mother to weekend dinners with Sana’s grandparents to Rachel’s hard shell and commanding personality. As a fan of the show, I loved finding these little similarities and watching how Aminah Mae Safi incorporated them while still keeping Tell Me How You Really Feel a truly diverse story.
One of the most important parts of a rom-com are the two main characters—and Sana and Rachel are fabulous. While Sana seems like this perfect being from the outside, she’s struggling for control and what to do about her future on the inside. And I loved seeing Rachel uncover these inner parts of Sana and how her perception of this girl changed. I especially enjoyed how a lot of this unfolded through the film they work on together—an adaptation of the Odyssey—and how Sana helped change Rachel’s mind about Helen of Troy as well.
Overall, if you’re a fan of rom-coms and Gilmore Girls you are going to want to add Tell Me How You Really Feel to your summer reading list!
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.*
Be sure to check out the reviews from the other awesome bloggers who were a part of this traveling ARC tour!
Courtney @ Buried in a Bookshelf
Belle @ Belle’s Archive
Olivia @ Books and Big Ideas
Lili @ Utopia State of Mind