Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Published: June 11, 2019
I have been waiting for this book since I heard Aminah talk about it at an event last year. It’s billed as a hate to love story between two girls set in Los Angeles. Aminah basically said like if Rory and Paris from Gilmore Girls had a relationship. Y’all should all check out who Aminah dedicated this book to 👀 I would have posted a picture, but I borrowed this one from the library and forgot to take one before I returned it.
This is a summery romantic comedy featuring a hate to love romance between a Jewish/Mexican aspiring filmmaker and an Iranian/Indian cheerleader who is also an aspiring doctor. Okay, that is the basic summary and is basically all I knew going into this. Aside from that all you really need to know is that each character has their own story line and goals independent from their relationship. It is also very feminist.
WHAT I LOVED:
- The retelling of the Odyssey element and the analysis of the whole thing, this plot was unexpected, and I really loved it.
- Both Rachel and Sana are strong female characters.
- Also, all the women are strong women!!
- Family expectations play a huge role in this book and I enjoyed how they played out
- How complex and messy these girls are. Aminah is so good at writing her female characters. They feel so real and make poor decisions at times, but it just makes them seem more like actual teens
- Both girls are very passionate about their futures. I loved that Sana wants to pursue science and Rachel wants to be a filmmaker. Both are treated as viable and equal career paths, which is awesome.
- I appreciated the different family dynamics we see in this. Both girls live in a single parent household, but their realities are very different
- How LA is represented. I loved seeing an accurate representation of the traffic and seeing some of my favorite places (Urban Lights anyone???)
- The diversity in this book is great and anyone who has been to LA knows that it is such a diverse place.
- I just enjoyed seeing the city be portrayed accurately (although I live 30 minutes from LA who I could be way off base lol)
- The romance was super cute and soft
WHAT I DID NOT LOVE:
- The secondary characters were not that flushed out, which the focus is clearly the relationship between the two girls, but I would have liked to see some of their friends. It literally seemed like they did not have friends.
- I don’t think it flowed perfectly and at times the pacing was a little weird, the chapters are dated which was nice, but some days felt very long, and others felt too rushed
- Part of Sana’s plot line bothered me, but I got why it played out this way, but reading about it was a struggle.
After this book, I plan on reading everything Aminah writes. I enjoyed her first book, even though reviews are mixed. But I loved this one. This is the type of book that reminds me of why I fell in love with YA contemporary so many years ago.
Please read and support this diverse and super cute f/f romance!!
Goodreads link: Tell Me How You Really Feel
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