[ARC REVIEW] “Tell Me How You Really Feel” By: Aminah Mae Safi

Official Synopsis:

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.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


*I received this book from the publisher as apart of an ARC tour! You can check out the other stops below as well.*

I am the first to admit that my library (as in, the bookshelves in my room) are severely lacking of LGBTQ+ romance novels. I have a few that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet, but I’m always looking for more, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

One thing that I loved about this book is that the focus was on Sana and Rachel and their lives, and by extension, their relationship with each other. You’re probably saying to yourself, yes, Courtney, obviously, that’s what the book is about, that’s how the plot of all romance books tends to be. I would say that yes, you’re correct. But often in media with LGBTQ+ stories a huge part of the plot is centered around one or both of the characters coming out, which isn’t an issue in this book. “Issue” is the wrong word to use, but bear with me here. What I’m trying to say is that this is a great book that portrays two girls falling in love the same way that you would expect a straight relationship to play out. Again, that is as it should be, and this is just a very roundabout way of me saying that I really enjoyed this book, and that you should read it as soon as it comes out on June 11.

One of the areas I want to work in after graduation is film, so it was so awesome to see a character pursuing sort of the same thing. Rachel was such a complex character, and I loved that the book is told from both her and Sana’s points of view. She’s stubborn, and at times a bit too rude (like to her crew), but she’s a determined girl who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Career wise, at least. As soon as romance starts to appear, that’s a whole different story, as is understandable.

Sana is your typical perfect cheerleader, with stellar grades and appears to be the all around perfect daughter/granddaughter as well. Throughout the book, we get to see her struggle with her role, eventually rebelling against the box of perfection that she’s been in for virtually her whole life.

Sana and Rachel’s relationship is hella cute. They have the whole enemies-to-lovers thing going on, which I love, but also translates to a sort of slow burn romance. I wanted to reach through the pages of my book and shake them, and yell at them to just make out already because they both so obviously had crushes on each other but didn’t want to admit it.

Sana actually crosses paths with Rachel’s dad, unbeknownst to her, near the end of the book. I think it would’ve been really cool to see her realize that at some point, but if she does, we don’t get to see it. Diesel, Sana’s friend, has a crush on one of Sana’s friends on the cheer squad, but we never really learn how that played out either.

Overall, this was a lovely romance novel, and I strongly recommend you pick it up on June 11! 🙂

5 thoughts on “[ARC REVIEW] “Tell Me How You Really Feel” By: Aminah Mae Safi

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