Tell Me How You Really Feel 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.
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 strongwilled young women falling for each other despite themselves.
TITLE: Tell Me How You Really Feel
AUTHOR: Aminah Mae Safi
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
LENGTH: 320 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Main Character(s).
This was a quick and fun read, I like it a lot. The MCs are a great mix between stubborn and oblivious, getting both of their perspectives helps things from getting too stressful when miscommunications happen because we quickly hear the other person's side on the event, even if the effects take most of the book to resolve. It does touch on some stressful topics, but the characters gradually work through their issues in ways that felt good to read. The dynamics with the two families were very different and were well-placed in the book. They were very present without being distracting.
I like the way the films they watch and the one Rachel is making have just enough detail to highlight how they matter to the story, but without making the book be really about any of those films. It's focused on the romance of these very stubborn characters who should just kiss already, and then what happens when they actually do. If you love Gilmore Girls, but wanted Rory to date Paris, you will love this book. It’s definitely its own thing, but the dedication references Rory and Paris so I’m very confident that the parallels are intentional. I think the best friend was a little under-utilized but the story really isn't about him so it's not a big deal, just don't expect him to be the stand-in for Lane.
Overall this was a fun and cathartic romance, with just enough space for things to be bad before they get better.
CW for sexism, panic attack (minor), depression, car accident, parental death (backstory).
BTB 2021 Reading Challenge (QAOC)