Release Date: June 11, 2019
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Aminah Mae Safi’s Tell Me How You Really Feel is an ode to romantic comedies, following two girls on opposite sides of the social scale as they work together to make a movie and try very hard not to fall in love.
The first time Sana Khan asked out a girl–Rachel Recht–it went so badly that she never did it again. Rachel is a film buff and aspiring director, and she’s seen Carrie enough times to learn you can never trust cheerleaders (and beautiful people). Rachel was furious that Sana tried to prank her by asking her on a date.
But when it comes time for Rachel to cast her senior project, she realizes that there’s no more perfect lead than Sana—the girl she’s sneered at in the halls for the past three years. And poor Sana—she says yes. She never did really get over that first crush, even if Rachel can barely stand to be in the same room as her.
Told in alternative viewpoints and set against the backdrop of Los Angeles in the springtime, when the rainy season rolls in and the Santa Ana’s can still blow—these two girls are about to learn that in the city of dreams, anything is possible—even love.
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
Blog Tour: Tell Me How You Really Feel by Amina Mae Safi – Books and Big Ideassays:June 19, 2019 at 12:45 PM
[…] Jordan’s beautiful photo and review […]
Jessica @ Booked Jsays:June 19, 2019 at 1:46 PM
AHH! This book is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I’m SO ready for it! Great review. Sounds really fantastic.
Jamie @ Books and Ladderssays:June 19, 2019 at 6:34 PM
I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for sharing your review with us.
Sam@wlabbsays:June 21, 2019 at 3:41 PM
I have not heard that Rory and Paris tidbit. Color me way more intrigued now. I didn’t realize this one leaned towards the rom-com side either. Even more points!
Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsicalsays:June 25, 2019 at 12:11 PM
I’m so darn excited for this one! I love rom-coms, and I’m happy to see more and more diverse rom-coms + that rom-coms are arriving to YA, as well. This seems like a perfect beach/vacation read, so I’ll be sure to take my copy with me. 🙂 Fantastic review!