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.
Insecurities, misunderstandings, and pride lead to a feud that ignites into passion in this sweet YA romance by Safi (Not the Girls You're Looking For). In Los Angeles, Jewish-Mexican Rachel Recht is both poor and brilliant. She's determined to make a name for herself as a director, and her next big steps all depend on her senior project, which is coming apart at the seams. Then her film teacher forces her to cast her archnemesis, perpetually perfect cheerleader Sana Khan, in a film to showcase by the end of the month. Mean-while, Persian South Asian Sana is chafing under living up to her family's expectations that she attend Princeton and become a surgeon. When Sana begins to work closely with her crush-turned-enemy, she is forced out of predictable patterns and in turn helps Rachel resolve some of her aggression. As the two of them embrace their feelings for each other, they find the confidence to step into the futures each hopes to create. A beautifully diverse cast, a hopeful look at growing up, and a blossoming spring romance between well-developed characters are sure to spark joy in teen readers. Ages 13 up.
I really love this book. I’d rate a 10/10. I like the character development throughout the story. Rachel really changed in a good way because of Sana and so did Sana. The ending was a happy ending, in my opinion. I liked how I saw the story from both Rachel and sana’s perspectives.
Wanted to like this but...I really didn’t
Really wanted to like this book. Love that this YA book has two lesbian poc in it. The Helen of Troy angle was cool too. The summary seemed promising. But for a book that talked a lot about dimensional female characters this book fell a little flat. Sana was a little too perfect. even tho she has her doubts about going to Princeton, the idea of her taking a gap year for a prestigious year abroad in a medical program didn’t feel dramatic. Can’t understand why this is some kind of catastrophic problem to defer admission and take a gap year doing something so impressive? However, rachel was much worse. Overall, a very very unlikable character, her main character trait was like anger and judgement. Couldn’t understand why Sana would like her and it didn’t feel like they had any chemistry. Even though the author seemed to work hard to try to flesh out the characters, they felt very one dimensional and I couldn’t really form an attachment with them. They just weren’t relatable because they felt so stereotypical perfect Ivy League girl next door/ angry alt film girl. The writing itself was also pretty bland. Didn’t mean to flame this so badly but I guess I just really didn’t like this book. If the protagonists weren’t two poc I would’ve given it only one star.
I love a little good summer romance reading....
I loved this book, once I finished the sample reading, I knew I had to get this book! Such a great story and I think this tells us to go for what you want and know what’s right for you in this world. 🥰 #LGBTQ