Tell Me How You Really Feel
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 obsesssed 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.

Tell Me How You Really Feel Details

TitleTell Me How You Really Feel
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 11th, 2019
PublisherFeiwel Friends
ISBN-139781250299482
Rating
GenreLGBT, Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Tell Me How You Really Feel Review

  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    idk about you guys, but seeing a book cover that really explicitly shows two girls who are into eachother is giving me all kinds of feels. When I was a kid reading YA, I didn't even know showing f/f couples in books was a thing, and now we're putting them loud and proud on the cover and it's making me so happy. this cover rules 20GayTeen is officially extended into 2019
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    I am lying face down on the floor I’m so gay and overwhelmed
  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    the sapphic energy of that cover alone makes me want to run in circles wearing nothing but a pride flag
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    releases: 11 June 2019it's been YEARS and YA just hasn't been catering to my interest in sapphic romantic comedies AND NOW HERE WE ARE LOOK HOW FAR WE'VE COME, MY DUDES
  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    This is a decent enemies-to-lovers story. I say ‘‘decent’’ because so many so-called love/hate relationships are so… tame. There’s no real hate, just annoyance. There’s also no real reason to hate the other person, just mild disagreements. But what I liked about this book is that it shows how two people—in this case two teen girls—can misjudge one another completely, assuming they have nothing in common and no way to connect, only to find themselves being drawn to one another almost unconsciousl This is a decent enemies-to-lovers story. I say ‘‘decent’’ because so many so-called love/hate relationships are so… tame. There’s no real hate, just annoyance. There’s also no real reason to hate the other person, just mild disagreements. But what I liked about this book is that it shows how two people—in this case two teen girls—can misjudge one another completely, assuming they have nothing in common and no way to connect, only to find themselves being drawn to one another almost unconsciously. Both protagonists—Sana and Rachel—have their own lives, yet somehow their lives become intertwined when they have a misfortunate (or perhaps very fortunate) accident that results in them having to work together for some time. It’s hard to hate someone or keep hating someone when you’re both working toward a common goal, unless you’re a masochist who would rather fight continuously. I say masochist because, yes, you’re hurting the other person during fights but you’re also very much hurting yourself. Watching Sana, and Rachel especially, decide to stop being masochists made me rather happy. I connected with Sana better than I did with Rachel because she is torn between going to an Ivy League school and working abroad right after graduating high school. She knows what her family would rather she chose but she decides to fight for her own wishes, which she hopes will make her happy in the end. Because what’s the point of studying something for many years if it will only make you miserable? Ever head of that saying, ‘‘If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.’’ Sana is trying to determine if medicine is the right path for her and I admired her for it.It’s an engaging realistic tale that should appeal to anyone who loves reading about characters pushing through fear, doubt and insecurities in order to follow the path they were meant to walk on. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Malanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*whispers softly* the cover is so beautifulFirst and most of all, let’s look at the cover and appreciate it for what it is. I’ve talked so much about how het romances have covers which outright show a boy and girl softly gazing at one another. But gay love stories never have soft covers like that??????? Seeing this cover was so nice. In fact, it was more than nice because it was adorable and very clearly Sapphic and look at how fond T ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*whispers softly* the cover is so beautifulFirst and most of all, let’s look at the cover and appreciate it for what it is. I’ve talked so much about how het romances have covers which outright show a boy and girl softly gazing at one another. But gay love stories never have soft covers like that??????? Seeing this cover was so nice. In fact, it was more than nice because it was adorable and very clearly Sapphic and look at how fond THESE GIRLS ARE? It's also good to have covers that are more lowkey, for readers living in homophobic, unsafe places. But it’s validating to have covers like this one, that are more outright. I wish I had this in middle school/high school???????? But we have it in our hands now, which I'm appreciating with my entire heart. As for the story itself. [disappointed sigh]This was certainly a romantic comedy, if nothing else. It felt like something from a cheesy television channel! i.e: 1) standard storyline including karaoke and 24/7 needless drama? I have absolutely zero patience for unwarranted assholes & sometimes these characters Rachel were assholes without having any good reason to be?? Sometimes I like mean people, because at least they're being honest. I understand when it’s just your personality. But Rachel is a marshmallow and needs to be STOHPED. 2) (unnatural) dialogue + feelings that have been cut and pasted from the Hallmark Special textbook 3) it felt like a mildly campy novel. I felt like this wasn’t what it could’ve been. There were still cute moments, but I didn’t care about the family drama, the girls’ personal drama, or the relationship drama. I JUST WANTED FLUFF, FULL FORCE. Overall I recommend if you want something cheesy, kind of sweet, and you don't mind the story being generic. my depressed self gives it 3 stars, which is encouraging! | BLOG
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Thank GOD this was as good as I wanted and needed it to be. This book is such a happy place and I'm so excited for fellow rom-com lovers to love it and ship Sana and Rachel as hard as I do.
  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    DNFI wanted SO BADLY to adore this, but these characters are... whew. I hated them both from their respective introductions and there's no reprieve in sight. They're both so arrogant and Rachel is legitimately a cruel-hearted bully from the first page we meet her on, and while I know a lot of readers will have fun watching the character development that I'm sure probably occurs later on in this story, I couldn't make it through well enough to find out firsthand. :(Thank you so much to the publis DNFI wanted SO BADLY to adore this, but these characters are... whew. I hated them both from their respective introductions and there's no reprieve in sight. They're both so arrogant and Rachel is legitimately a cruel-hearted bully from the first page we meet her on, and while I know a lot of readers will have fun watching the character development that I'm sure probably occurs later on in this story, I couldn't make it through well enough to find out firsthand. :(Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5Kinda disappointed? I am really in the middle with this but I do think I enjoyed it.
  • julianna ➹
    January 1, 1970
    what time is it?? [checks watch] sad boi hour Listen up, my 2.3 followers. I am most definitely not over the moon-- I am under the moon because I had hoped that this could be one of my favorites of 2019. It is not.(Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends for providing me w/ an arc of this in exchange for review!! This is an honest review. <3)Nonetheless, three stars is NOT a bad rating! I actually really enjoyed this book and was thoroughly engaged for the majority of it! Therefore, I woul what time is it?? [checks watch] sad boi hour Listen up, my 2.3 followers. I am most definitely not over the moon-- I am under the moon because I had hoped that this could be one of my favorites of 2019. It is not.(Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends for providing me w/ an arc of this in exchange for review!! This is an honest review. <3)Nonetheless, three stars is NOT a bad rating! I actually really enjoyed this book and was thoroughly engaged for the majority of it! Therefore, I would like to list all of the quite good things:🌷I mean, can we talk about the cover? I would like to devote 4 and a half sonnets dedicated to how amazing the cover is and how important it will be to readers to see themselves on the cover and the marvel that is the TWO BROWN LESBIANS ON THE COVER! YES!🌷The sexuality within this novel isn't presented as something the main characters ever need to tackle with; it's completely natural and casual. Both the characters have already known for a while exactly who they're interested in: girls. And there aren't many extreme occasions of homophobia (but there are microaggressions).🌷Filming is a huge part of this novel, and I think brown film-makers is something I've been seeing a lot (this novel + My So-Called Bollywood Life + From Twinkle, with Love) which I am so here for. I think that any person who's a fan of the story of Odysseus (but retold!) will really love those aspects woven throughout the plot!🌷And, well, the premise itself is amazing. Enemies to lovers + poc main characters + brown author + poc on the cover + sapphic romance. This is enough to give me sustenance for the rest of my life.However, the premise kind of... amped up my hopes? I'm really divided on my opinions on this novel, because they really changed from my first sitting to my last sitting. Like, enemies to lovers, guys. One of the universally beloved tropes that guarantees the angst that we need and long for!! But I can't help but think that this book missed the mark on the enemies-to-lovers. I've seen other reviewers say this too, but Rachel Recht honestly seemed unnecessarily mean. I love brutally honest characters, but Rachel was always angry at everyone and just sniped at everyone, no matter what? The groundwork for Rachel's distaste towards Sana was rooted in one of the biggest misunderstandings on the face of this planet, and listen. Listen. Even though it was an unrealistic misunderstanding— Rachel thought Sana asked her out as a prank— there was still room for me to be convinced by Rachel's train of thought. And... I wasn't convinced? I feel like this novel just failed to effectively get me to completely root for Rachel; Rachel had so much of a vendetta against "pretty people" that failed to garner my support. Like, I saw where Rachel was coming from, but the narrative failed to convince me completely that her beliefs were totally reasonable; they just seemed like they were there to create conflict between Rachel and Sana and to make Rachel an "unlikeable" character.Also, there was a lot of unrealistic dialogue, which really confused me. Some of the writing was really awkward and clunky, and I was in pain when I started noticing the writing and all of the unnatural sentences. Listen... even though I was disappointed by this, I would like to give the go-ahead for any new readers venturing into YA to read this! I am extremely picky with both my writing and my contemporaries, so this is quite possibly a me thing.edit: Something another reviewer brought up was that the book never used the phrases "queer" or "gay" or "lesbian" which they found to be hurtful, which is a completely valid complaint. So just be mindful of this if you're looking for go into the book! I don't want anyone to be hurt. <3Trigger warnings for heteronormativity and sexism. (Ahhh this is definitely not a full list, but I'm editing this a couple months after reading it and I don't remember everything. I'll wait until other people post reviews w/ their lists so I can update mine.)Specific representation includes lesbian rep (both the main characters), an f/f romance, a Muslim Mexican main character (Rachel), and a Muslim biracial main character who is half Persian + half Indian (Sana).
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    actual rating: 4.5 stars I JUST!!!!! LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! SO MUCH!!!! I CAN'T!!!!!
  • mo
    January 1, 1970
    this book cover single-handedly cleared my skin, blessed my crops, and granted me lasting inner peace.seriously, though, look at it. it's so warm and cute and tbh, i want to marry this book cover.
  • Rida Imran
    January 1, 1970
    How did i just see this? A beautiful f/f cover and of the girls is brown? Count me in!
  • Adiba Jaigirdar
    January 1, 1970
    *Sigh* Apparently when you DNF one book, you start a streak. I was legitimately so excited about this book. It's about two QPOC, one of them is Muslim, *and* it's my favourite trope: enemies to lovers. Unfortunately, it just...did not work for me. Some of you may have seen me tweeting about the book that didn't use the word "gay," or "lesbian," or "queer" any variation of those words, and yeah, that's about this book! It felt like the author was really twisting herself into avoiding using these *Sigh* Apparently when you DNF one book, you start a streak. I was legitimately so excited about this book. It's about two QPOC, one of them is Muslim, *and* it's my favourite trope: enemies to lovers. Unfortunately, it just...did not work for me. Some of you may have seen me tweeting about the book that didn't use the word "gay," or "lesbian," or "queer" any variation of those words, and yeah, that's about this book! It felt like the author was really twisting herself into avoiding using these words. Not even labelling the characters (even though the characters seem to be pretty sure about their labels, just refuse to say them?), but it's just really uncomfortable and otherising to not use words that queer people are very comfortable using for themselves. It's unnatural and strange. I could have maybe overlooked that if it wasn't for everything else that came with the book.So, this book has been marketed as "If Rory Gilmore and Paris had got together" and that's...actually a pretty accurate description. This book is very Gilmore Girls, from the prestigious private school, the very driven female characters, and even the weekly dinners with grandparents. But...the reason why people (including me) shipped Rory and Paris is not just because they were enemies to lovers who had chemistry with each other, it's because they ultimately also really appreciated each other and had a lot of respect for each other. I hope that this book got there as it went on, but it was definitely not there AT ALL in the first 30% that I read.And yes, it takes time for characters and relationships to develop but...Rachel is so obnoxious that if I were Sana, there is nothing Rachel could do make me like her. It makes no sense that Sana likes her, when Rachel is absolutely horrendous to every single person. She fires the people who work in her film, she is rude to her film teacher, she hates Sana because Sana asked her for her phone number once and Rachel decided this was some Stephen King Carrie situation FOR YEARS based off of that two second interaction, she hates every single person in her school, she hates Sana's friend because he's a jock. Is there anyone that Rachel likes? Certainly not as far as I can tell. And yes, look. In GG Paris was awful to everyone as well, but her insecurities were also there to make us warm to her from early on, even if Rory could not quite warm to her. Also, we weren't seeing thing from Paris' point of view, as we are reading half of this book from Rachel's point of view. Rachel, so far, has shown very little insecurity or vulnerability. She just reads like someone who judges everyone just for not being exactly who she wants them to be. Honestly, I am so disappointed. This book could have been amazing. It had so much potentially. But...unfortunately, I just couldn't stomach it anymore. The book has important rep...there are so few queer Muslim characters, but...anyway. I hope that others will enjoy it more than I have!
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  • m ❀
    January 1, 1970
    full review now on my blog! ARC kindly provided by Feiwel & Friends in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. rep: a Mexican, Jewish main character, a Muslim, lesbian main character, f/f romancethis just made me really want to rewatch gilmore girls. review to come soon!
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  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    ♦ Video Review ♦I fell in love with this book the minute I saw its cover and I'm happy to say that the content did not disappoint. TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL is a wonderful Contemporary with an incredibly well done enemies to friends to lovers romance and really strong, complex family dynamics!Hate to love romances is one of my favourite tropes and whenever it is f/f, I am especially drawn to it. But for me these books often miss the mark on fully establishing the different levels of the rela ♦ Video Review ♦I fell in love with this book the minute I saw its cover and I'm happy to say that the content did not disappoint. TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL is a wonderful Contemporary with an incredibly well done enemies to friends to lovers romance and really strong, complex family dynamics!Hate to love romances is one of my favourite tropes and whenever it is f/f, I am especially drawn to it. But for me these books often miss the mark on fully establishing the different levels of the relationships but this book succeeded at this and had some great development.Rachel's reasons for disliking Sana make a lot of sense, while they might seem over the top and slightly tropey. But it's something that creates an easy conflict between the two but also is easy to overcome. It takes some time for them to develop into friends and then some more before we see any romantic attraction between the two and every level was so well established.There is a really well done sex scene that is YA appropriate but doesn't fade to black. I always appreciate that, especially when it is a sapphic novel! “A thought nestled deeply and immediately into Rachel's subconscious, taking root there: She likes this about me. It was strange, nearly foreign, to be wanted for what she felt so unloved for most of the time.” Generally this book reads very much like your typical romcom, including some of the usual tropes and cliches but also all of the fun and wholesomeness. My heart is very happy every time we see a "typical romcom" with diverse characters, which then gives the genre a completely new flavour and lets marginalized readers see themselves in these "typical" stories.In this book it is not only a romance between two girls but they're also both women of colour. Rachel is Mexican and Jewish, Sana is Muslim, and Persian and South Asian (definitely Bengali and Pakistani).The novel had some feminist themes that I so very much appreciated. Not only does it deal with being a woman of colour in the film business, it is also about overcoming internalized misogyny. Sana seems like your stereotypical cheerleader and spending time with her makes Rachel really understand feminism in a way she hasn't looked at it before. That is reflected in Rachel's film project, that Sana heavily influences, but also in the way Rachel sees Sana. And in this vein this book also talked about being a femme girl that is attracted to other girls and how hard it can be to be recognized as queer. I appreciated this aspect so much. “Because Sana Khan moved through this world trying to tell everyone in tiny, everyday ways that she was attracted to girls and nobody registered any of them. Flirt, touch, wink, bat her eyelashes. Be obvious in the way everyone could see but that nobody seemed to care about. Not if you looked like Sana. Sana wasn't trapped in a closet. Other people kept building one around her.” Another very strong aspect of this book were the family dynamics. They were some of the most complex family dynamics I have ever seen in YA and definitely heavily influenced by the main character's cultures. It is about the high expectations that your family might place upon you, about your family wanting what's best for you and not understanding they're putting you under pressure. It shows that parents are only human and in no way perfect. It shows realistic fights, the ones that get so out of hand that you can hear hearts breaking but that strong families will always find their way back together.I was truly so impressed with how these family relationships were written. These are really just a few of the aspects. This book focuses just as much on family as it does on the romance, if not even more, especially in Sana's case. “Sometimes we get lucky. And other times we're face first in the mud trying to find a way to breathe while someone is trying to kick us in the ribs. Don't make me a heroine. Don't make me a villain. You'll be lucky enough to walk your own path.” All in all, I highly recommend this book. It is so much fun, delivers on basically all fronts and leaves you with a really warm and fuzzy feeling. A perfect read for Summer and of course especially great for your Pride TBRs!♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) I'll break down my rating because there are STRONG things and less strong things, but overall, HALLELUJAH FOR A F/F ROMANTIC COVER and an engaging story.Cover: ALL THE STARS. Honestly, I want every bookstore and library on earth to put this on prominent display. If everyone just bought it simply to display, I'd be happy. We need this book cover on posters - like movie posters. Everywhere. Two teen girls, obviously in romantic love. One of them obviously a woman of color. YES.R (free review copy) I'll break down my rating because there are STRONG things and less strong things, but overall, HALLELUJAH FOR A F/F ROMANTIC COVER and an engaging story.Cover: ALL THE STARS. Honestly, I want every bookstore and library on earth to put this on prominent display. If everyone just bought it simply to display, I'd be happy. We need this book cover on posters - like movie posters. Everywhere. Two teen girls, obviously in romantic love. One of them obviously a woman of color. YES.Representation: Amazing. Rachel is Mexican-Jewish and Sana is Muslim (Bengali/Persion on her mom's side) and their race, religion and sexuality are never questioned or challenged. This isn't a coming out story or at all about their sexuality. That's a done deal. Just like it is in almost every single m/f love story. Maybe it could be a bigger deal, though?? I'm not sure on that.Setting: So, so LA. Not the generic LA we read about in so many books but very atmospheric and natural.Story: Okay, so this is where I get a little picky. I honestly just straight up don't love books about movies and film-making, and there seems to be a trend in YA where all these teens are super into the film world. That's totally cool, and since I'm not a teen and I'm not into that, I can just say that I went along with it for the sake of the REST of the book (relationships, etc). However, even with me not overall liking that theme, I think that this huge focus on The Odyssey was overdone, and confusing and made the book longer and more cumbersome than it needed to be. It's like the author dug herself into this plotline hole and didn't know how to get out of it. In addition, the ending was rushed and there was some romantic drama that was completely unnecessary.BUT, guess what! I have the right to rate a book however I want, and for this one, the cover and representation and my ability to read it in one sitting bump it up to 4 stars despite my meh feelings about some of the story. Maybe soon we'll have so many cute sapphic covers and stories in the YA market that we won't even be mentioning covers and much-needed representation in reviews.........but we're not there yet. So for now, buy it and display it please. Read it too and think about whether it's the best f/f YA romantic comedy featuring a character of color by an female author of color from a major publisher that you've read. And then realize that you haven't been able to read that many because there just aren't that many out there. And then sigh. And applaud Safi and the publisher for bringing us this one.Like I read somewhere, barely-remembered paraphrased words originally said by someone important/famous:We need enough books with [insert marginalized population] characters that there are allowed to be good [marginalized population] books, bad [marginalized population] books and horrible [marginalized population] books as well as those ones that are truly amazing. And we'll be able to rate them strictly on the writing and story. Until then, the representation inevitably factors into our reviews and we hang all of our hopes on that ONE book.
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  • Amanda Quain
    January 1, 1970
    Did you always wish that Gilmore Girls was more diverse, and also that Rory and Paris ended up together? Then WOWZER this is the book for you.
  • ✩ Ashley ✩
    January 1, 1970
    Ohhhh that cover is giving me chills! ♡ ♡ ♡
  • Lulu (the library leopard)
    January 1, 1970
    now THIS is the spiritual successor to everything leads to you that i've been looking for
  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    January 1, 1970
    Parts of this YA I loved, and others I feel iffy about. Two seniors at a fancy prep school, one a future doctor with rich grandparents and a "have-to-be-perfect-daughter" complex and the other a scholarship recepient and filmmaker with a huge chip on her shoulder.Loved: enemies-to-lovers, sometimes unlikable girls, and ethnic/religious diversity (one is a Muslim girl with South Asian and Persian background, the other a Jewish Mexican American). I also thought the writing at times, where the auth Parts of this YA I loved, and others I feel iffy about. Two seniors at a fancy prep school, one a future doctor with rich grandparents and a "have-to-be-perfect-daughter" complex and the other a scholarship recepient and filmmaker with a huge chip on her shoulder.Loved: enemies-to-lovers, sometimes unlikable girls, and ethnic/religious diversity (one is a Muslim girl with South Asian and Persian background, the other a Jewish Mexican American). I also thought the writing at times, where the author integrated movie making metaphors was fitting and cool.Didn't love: the rushed ending and how the author seemed to be deliberately avoiding the words gay/lesbian/etc. I'm still feeling very puzzled about that last point. I just don't get it, and cannot think of any reason why! And the cover is so gay!! There were multiple instances related to both girls where they were described or described themselves as "not straight" and "liking girls" in a way and so many times that it felt weird and unnatural. If anyone can give insight on this I would love it! I am wondering if it's a cultural difference I'm not aware of. I think this book is gonna be hit and miss with readers; the unlikeability of Rachel in particular for a large first part of the book is gonna put people off, as will the amount of time it takes to get from definite hate to maybe like to love. I was okay with both these things and could even appreciate them to some extent but I can definitely see them bugging other people, or even causing people to bail on the book.Also there are apparently very obvious Gilmore Girls parallels in this book that went over my head because I've never seen that show.
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  • Jodi Meadows
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful.
  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve sadly decided to DNF this. I can’t stand Rachel, maybe she gets better but I’m just not enjoying this story at all. Had very high hopes for this one but it’s not me. I still completely love the cover and hope we see more like this in the future.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    this is very cute Teen Movie™ but in the best way possible.I love books about people making art, and i've never read (that I can remember) a book about a film maker, but it was soo goooooood. I loved watching them make this movie together and even though I don't know anything about The Odyssey, this someone makes me want to read it??? lmaoI'm so happy this book's conflict has nothing to do with the characters being queer. More happy queers books PLS!! Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of thing this is very cute Teen Movie™ but in the best way possible.I love books about people making art, and i've never read (that I can remember) a book about a film maker, but it was soo goooooood. I loved watching them make this movie together and even though I don't know anything about The Odyssey, this someone makes me want to read it??? lmaoI'm so happy this book's conflict has nothing to do with the characters being queer. More happy queers books PLS!! Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of things that go wrong in this book, but the main conflict has nothing to do with it being a f/f romance. Instead we get the cutest enemies to lovers story and *squeal* it was adorable. The characters are complicated and complex and unsure teens in the best possible way. ALSO the feminist themes are *chefs kiss* amazingI feel like I have more to say about this book, but I need to marinate in my emotions for a bit longer*thank you to Macmillan and Edelweiss for this review copy!
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  • MJ (butchiebooking)
    January 1, 1970
    this promises to be an f/f romantic comedy featuring brown muslim girls, is completely #ownvoices, has THAT cover, and focuses on film in LA. if this doesn't become my new fave contemporary, then God has just let me down.
  • Saniya
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: homophobic microaggressions, racist microaggressions (like barely tho just barely), emetophobia, depression symptoms, estranged parents, fractures and sprains, motor accidents, alcohol abuse mention, sexism and misogyny*ARC from Macmillan for review*The book is described as a Gilmore Girl’s inspired story but with Rory and Paris as the endgoal pairing. Took a hot minute for me to see it but once Sana’s family history comes into focus the full force of Lorelai and Rory hits you Trigger warnings: homophobic microaggressions, racist microaggressions (like barely tho just barely), emetophobia, depression symptoms, estranged parents, fractures and sprains, motor accidents, alcohol abuse mention, sexism and misogyny*ARC from Macmillan for review*The book is described as a Gilmore Girl’s inspired story but with Rory and Paris as the endgoal pairing. Took a hot minute for me to see it but once Sana’s family history comes into focus the full force of Lorelai and Rory hits you in the face. As for Rachel being Paris, I think it’s mostly the no nonsense don’t fuck with me attitude. But wow this is so much better than Gilmore Girls. To start, it's the story of immigrants and children of immigrants. Sana is Persian/Pakistani and Rachel is Mexican Jewish. The narrative of single mother stepping away from rich parents to build a life on her own has more of a punch with Sana's family being immigrants and non white. The idea of creating your own narrative divorced from one that your immigrant parents have worked their asses off for is staggeringly revolutionary mainly because it’s hammered into kids that we carry the story, burden, sacrifices, hard work, and love our immigrant parents poured out to give us the opportunity to live a comfortable life. Immigrant kids have to carry that legacy and do family proud. The Lorelai story of making it ON HER OWN has such a different meaning when seen from the perspective of non white immigrants. That itself makes this one of the most fantastic young adult romances and contemporaries I’ve read in a hot minute. On to other things. Both out leading ladies are lesbians. It's wonderful. Usually I need some kind of queer diversity but I didn’t mind not having a bi/pan character. The story had almost little to no focus on the fact that they’re gay. Like maybe only in the sense that gay girls have no gaydar and can’t tell another girl flirting with them for shit. And that’s really true lmao it’s so true. There’s a wee bit of discussion on how misogyny plays into gay girls being identified as docile caricatures for men just because they’re not a certain type of Obviously Lesbian. But like just barely because like I said, this book is not about sexuality. This book is about two ambitious young teenagers figuring out just how much they have to work against their own self made barriers and the people around them to be seen in earnest as girls with big dreams. It’s so much about family legacy and making a life for yourself as an individual. It’s very much about looking past a curated image of what girls want to be seen as and how girls think they should be seen. It’s also about to lesbians falling in love. I loved the structure of the book too. Chapters had funky lil titles with lyrics or funny quips. Love that. The chapter sections were also a countdown to a deadline which helped counteract any loss of momentum. There were spots that seemed really useless except there was a deadline that the story worked towards and as a reader I ended up creating relevance for the scene myself. There’s a whole lot of symbolism that I’m sure I’d be able to sniff out on a second reading. Just overall wonderful writing. I did feel like Rachel’s dad and Diesel (love the guy) deserved a lot more page time because they were some of the most wholesome side characters I’ve read. Rachel’s dad is an angel and Diesel really and truly needed to be around for more jokes and poignant bro-y insight. I spent all day just reading this and doing absolutely no work so you can guess exactly how much I loved it. Can’t wait to buy myself another copy of this.
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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsSana Khan is your perfect, put-together cheerleader and overachiever, who wants to be a surgeon and just got accepted into Princeton. But Sana isn't sure she's sold on being a surgeon just yet—she wants to know she can hack it. So she applies to a medical fellowship in India. She's got a month before she has to submit her deposit to Princeton.Rachel Recht is the brilliant film director at the elite Roycer Academy—but has a chip on her shoulder as a scholarship student, someone who has t 3.5 starsSana Khan is your perfect, put-together cheerleader and overachiever, who wants to be a surgeon and just got accepted into Princeton. But Sana isn't sure she's sold on being a surgeon just yet—she wants to know she can hack it. So she applies to a medical fellowship in India. She's got a month before she has to submit her deposit to Princeton.Rachel Recht is the brilliant film director at the elite Roycer Academy—but has a chip on her shoulder as a scholarship student, someone who has to battle for the right to attend a fancy school. And she hates Sana Khan, ever since Sana jokingly asked her out in freshman year. But Rachel's senior film is due, and her film teacher has decided Sana is going to be in the film—as the lead—or Rachel's future attendance in NYU is in danger.Can these two work together?~I'm honestly torn in how to rate this. At times, I absolutely loved it. Yet it took me what felt like an eternity to get through and seemed to just drag on and on and on with no resolution, leaving me increasing frustrated and constantly checking the time-estimate on my kindle and looking for excuses not to read.I didn't particularly care for Rachel, although I definitely understood where she was coming from, as a person ashamed of being poor, of having a mother who left and a father who crawled out of a bottle, of feeling insignificant and out of place in the Mexican Jewish community she grew up in. And as someone who hates pretty girls, partly because of her belief that Sana jokingly asked her out, and partly because of the easy road she feels that pretty girls have because of their looks. And as an aspiring director who was a perfectionist and hadn't learned how to motivate or delegate (because what was the point?) I did like that she changed over time, but felt that the impetus was too sudden and her change in temperament, particularly as a director, was too drastic and happened over the course of literally one day.I did like Sana, but honestly I liked her as juggling her perfect life as cheerleader, overachiever, a person who loved to fly in the air and the strength of her body. I understood her meltdown (good gravy, she had a lot on her shoulders with that family), but again, it felt too sudden and like her family did too little to help. And the parts with her dad felt very uneven and lopsided.The secondary characters were all fairly one-dimensional (occasionally two), mostly existing to further the two leads' arcs and development. Aside from Sana's mom, they never really seemed to have their own agency. And this was was big cast too, with lots of people on both Rachel's and Sana's sides. It was a lot to juggle and as a result much of the characterization was weak and one-sided. Diesel was basically the hot guy who somehow befriended both girls and talked through each of their feelings and problems but his motivations for doing so were...weird? I dunno.The other thing that I didn't like was Sana and Rachel's relationship. While I'm generally on board with all things sapphic, I'm also a little leery with the trope of It's Not Gay Without Sex To Prove It™️. Look friends, lesbian sex (and sex in general) happens, it happens in YA, and I'm cool with it (so long as it's not objectifying). What I grow tired of is (and big spoiler here): (view spoiler)[Rachel and Sana have sex literally during their second-make out session. It's fast, it's sudden, and I felt like there was not enough time in developing their very fragile new feelings for Sana to stick her hand down Rachel's pants. There was minimal talking about it beforehand, and there was very little talking about it afterwards. This isn't the first time I've read a sapphic YA with the girls jumping into bed within moments of deciding they are together, and to me, that cheapens the lesbian relationship. It reduces their sexuality (and the validity of their relationship) to sex itself instead of a bond between two girls filled with desire, chemistry and love. (hide spoiler)]But honestly, I was weary of the book before that moment, and I don't know why other than I just didn't care about the characters. I didn't really care if they stayed together, if Sana got the fellowship, if Rachel didn't finish her big film project. There was something missing to pull me into the story, leaving me to finish it out of a sense of obligation (because ARC—although that doesn't necessarily mean anything) instead of anticipation and fear of what was going to happen next. Maybe it was because I felt that the stakes weren't necessarily high enough, or that 95% of the issues could have been resolved with a little communication (view spoiler)[and without that clunky public announcement of love and relationship resolution at the end (hide spoiler)] between basically everyone in the story.I appreciate the book for what it did—fantastic representation, a good depiction of LA (lots of traffic, an interesting look at the film industry), a nice breakdown of being both a cheerleader and the mechanics of filmmaking, some really witty chapter titles, and a nice critique on the double standards placed on women by society at large (juxtaposed with Helen of Troy getting de-objectified).I also appreciate that this a good look at what it's like being a teen in today's world (well, if you attend a prestigious academy and have lots of opportunities). There's school and sports and activities and college-courses and everything else just to get ahead and get into the dream college. Although apparently if you're Rachel Recht you have a Time-Turner and can do school and direct a film and spend eternity editing and also have a part time diner job all while spending three hours a day commuting to school because this is LA and traffic is a bitch.Finally, I appreciate the hell out of that cover, because it's about damn time queer girls see themselves represented in sexy poses on a YA cover.In the end, however, this fell flat to me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't oh wow oh wow oh wow I want to stay in this world forever. It was just okay.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
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  • Silvia (roomforbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Trope: enemies to lovers Rep: Jewish Mexican-American lesbian MC, Muslim Persian/Indian-American lesbian MCThe first thing I want you to know about this book is that it’s one of the best books I’ve read in 2019 so far and it restored my faith in YA novels. Just read the dedication. I can’t believe I’ve finally read a Great enemies-to-lovers. The pacing, oh my God, THE PACING, my favorite thing in this book. It was so balanced I wanna cry, (excuse me if I’m overexcited but I don’t find perfect 4.5Trope: enemies to lovers Rep: Jewish Mexican-American lesbian MC, Muslim Persian/Indian-American lesbian MCThe first thing I want you to know about this book is that it’s one of the best books I’ve read in 2019 so far and it restored my faith in YA novels. Just read the dedication. I can’t believe I’ve finally read a Great enemies-to-lovers. The pacing, oh my God, THE PACING, my favorite thing in this book. It was so balanced I wanna cry, (excuse me if I’m overexcited but I don’t find perfectly paced hate-to-love stories often, everything is revolved way too fast in most books).The characters were 17/18, they acted their age (bless them), they were dramatic when they had to be, they were mature when it was time to be mature, they were absolute relatable and likable (to me, I know some might hate Rachel but I loved her, don’t ever talk to my daughter like that again).The story was particularly interesting to me because one of the MC wanted to be a director so there was a lot of movie talk and I quite enjoy reading about that topic. The chapters were medium length but I didn’t mind because I was clearly invested in the story and I wanted to know more.The DIVERSITY, hello???? Totally worth reading just for that, I love reading about other cultures, about different food, I ADORE when the characters speak another language that’s not English or Italian (as long as they explain what the words/sentences mean), this book did that and more.I can’t promise you’re gonna love this because we don’t all have the same reading tastes but you have to give it a try at least, just do it for the cover!!! Too beautiful 😭💗
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  • Neville Longbottom
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 - I really wanted to LOVE this book based on the concept, a hate-to-love story between two girls of color! I did end up enjoying it overall, but the beginning part of the story really held me back from loving it. I just thought that Rachel was mean and angry in a cartoonish way at the start of the book. The way she reacts to things and the way she treats Sana was just so over the top and not believable. And the reason for why she’s hated Sana for years was just so flimsy. I feel like if Rach 3.5 - I really wanted to LOVE this book based on the concept, a hate-to-love story between two girls of color! I did end up enjoying it overall, but the beginning part of the story really held me back from loving it. I just thought that Rachel was mean and angry in a cartoonish way at the start of the book. The way she reacts to things and the way she treats Sana was just so over the top and not believable. And the reason for why she’s hated Sana for years was just so flimsy. I feel like if Rachel was mean/angry in a more grounded way and the reason for the initial hate was more believable then my rating would be so much higher. It took me a while to really get into the story because I was just rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue and situations near the start. I did enjoy seeing Rachel and Sana having to work together and grow over the course of the story. It was nice that they both had individual storylines that were going on outside of the romance that related to family, school, and stress about future plans. This is a really cute romcom about two queer girls even if I did have some complaints about it. I’d definitely still recommend it, but with the warning that you might find the beginning to be a little bit obnoxious.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 4.5 starsTell Me How You Really Feel is a really smart romantic comedy featuring queer young women of color that undermines the assumptions often made about pretty, popular girls. Rachel Recht is Jewish and Middle-Eastern by way of Mexico, currently attending a prestigious private high school in Los Angeles. She has a prickly exterior (think Mr. Darcy) and she dreams of being a film director. Also she HATES Sana Khan. Sana is Muslim, half-Persian, half-Bengali, and almost always p Actual Rating: 4.5 starsTell Me How You Really Feel is a really smart romantic comedy featuring queer young women of color that undermines the assumptions often made about pretty, popular girls. Rachel Recht is Jewish and Middle-Eastern by way of Mexico, currently attending a prestigious private high school in Los Angeles. She has a prickly exterior (think Mr. Darcy) and she dreams of being a film director. Also she HATES Sana Khan. Sana is Muslim, half-Persian, half-Bengali, and almost always perfect. She is a gorgeous cheerleader who has been accepted into Princeton with plans to become a surgeon, and she is out as a lesbian although people seem to conveniently forget that she likes girls. More specifically, she has had a long-time crush on Rachel. When the girls are forced to work together on a film project, everything changes.This is a coming of age story about discovering who you are, falling in love, and figuring out what that means. Rachel and Sana both have immigrant families that add such rich texture to this story with the complications of their relationships to each other and the intersection of their culture and American culture. I thought this was really thoughtful and well-executed. There is a strong sub-plot involving the depiction of Helen of Troy in Rachel's film as Sana pushes her to not write her off as a pretty, dumb woman rather than a flawed human character with something to say. This clearly parallels Rachel's slow realization that Sana is more that she assumed and I thought that was brilliantly done. The book does a great job undercutting cultural misconceptions of pretty girls and the ways that their agency is often removed. The final third of the book sometimes felt a tad over-dramatic and I don't know that we needed quite so much of mishaps and miscommunication, but overall I thought this was a really impressive, important book that a lot of people are going to love and feel seen by. I received an advance review copy via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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