Double Enemies-to-Lovers Romance Reviews: I Wanna Be Where You Are + Tell Me How You Really Feel

I might start doing more double reviews, because I feel bad about bombarding you with so many posts (also, I couldn’t figure out how to turn either of these headers into horizontals, so it was easier to smoosh them together, ha!).

Today’s theme is all about diverse enemies-to-lovers romances, and I have two to share with you!

The first is Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are (and the main character, Chloe, guest posted on my blog on Wednesday, talking about her enemy Eli!) where Chloe takes a road trip with her childhood best friend turned enemy!

The second is Aminah Mae Safi’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, which is about enemies Rachel & Sana who have to work together on a film project, despite their believed incompatibility.

I definitely think certain readers will enjoy each, and I’m excited to share my reviews! Carry on!

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

I went through a romcom reading spree a couple months ago and caved and read I Wanna Be Where You Are early, and I have to say: I have no regrets.

THIS WAS JUST SO CUTE AHH.

I have so much love for this book, honestly, and it’s so cute and joyful and fun, I can’t get enough of it. From the romance to the dynamics to the ROAD TRIP, I had such a fun time and would definitely recommend.

I think books that are just joyful and fun and light reads are well needed in YA, and I Wanna Be Where You Are is a perfect addition to the contemporary romance genre.

There’s so many things to love about it, so let me tell you about a few!

An adorable use of tropes + the cutest couple!

Okay, if you’re a fan of any of the following, you HAVE to pick it up (and even if you don’t like one of these…Kristina Forest still does an awesome job with them, just saying . . .)

  • childhood best friends
  • enemies to lovers
  • boy-next-door
  • bad boy
  • “oh no there’s only one bed what will we do”
  • boys who love their dog

Seriously, so cute. And Kristina Forest does it so well, and I just love Eli and Chloe SO MUCH. They have a lot of fun banter, and although Chloe is definitely Stressed™ because her road trip has been hijacked and she has to drive around her worst enemy, there’s still a lot of really sweet moments.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel on Eli, but I have to say, I ended up loving him. This has just the cutest romance and I can’t rave about that enough.

Plus, family is a big theme.

I think the family dynamics (especially between Chloe and her mom) were really strong in this novel, and I loved reading that contrast and the layer it added to the story and the romance.

I thought Forest explored the idea of dance & pursuing your passion really well, and the differing views of Chloe and her mom on pursuing dance really shaped the novel and helped push some of the stakes up, as well as show something that a lot of readers might be able to relate to—with the idea of what’s in store for the future and how to plan.

I really enjoyed some of the subplots in this, and found it gave I Wanna Be Where You Are the roundness a book needs to be engrossing, while still staying light and fluffy and happy.

Overall, I just had a great time reading.

I think a lot of people will appreciate the breath of fresh air that this book is. It’s fun, it’s fluffy, it’s joyful, and it keeps stakes and interest while also still being just a peaceful book.

Forest balanced everything really well, and I highly enjoyed the reading experience and all the sweet fun the story brought. Overall, I’d wholeheartedly recommend I Wanna Be Where You Are for anyone who wants a light and enjoyable read.

4 stars

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

I was 100% lured into this book by THAT COVER.

I mean, it’s a beauty. It’s so explicitly queer and I love both girls on the front and I just want to stare at it all day because it’s gorgeous.

I haven’t had a chance to read Safi’s debut, although I did check it out from the library once (but it was called back!!!) and read a few pages, but I definitely think she has a fun contemporary style (loved her Fresh Ink short story!).

Tell Me How You Really Feel keeps that contemporary style with an enemies-to-lovers romance set in LA! From school to filmmaking to more, it brings the unwitting girls together. However, I did think there were a few things I wasn’t too sure about, which brought my rating down a bit.

It’s a compelling story, and the romance is *swoons*.

I think the situation was definitely fun and interesting and there was a lot going on, but it didn’t feel like too much was going on, which was good.

Not only do we have Rachel and Sana working together on a project, but there’s deadlines and cheerleading issues and family problems and embarrassment and so much more. They end up spending a lot of time together, and I think that’s a large reason of why I liked the romance.

I liked how they got to know each other and I felt like we got a really good grasp on each character by the end of the novel. It was compelling and they actually became friends first and their interactions weren’t adorable from the get go, but they were human and unique and I loved that about it.

I think the deadline part (with Rachel needing her film done by May 1st) was also done really well! I was a bit confused, because if Sana was accepted Early Decision to Princeton, she should have been asked to turn in her deposit by end of December, I’m pretty sure. ED kids usually turn in their deposit before RD kids, so that part of the story didn’t make much sense to me.

I did not like Rachel in the start.

This is my big gripe. Although she was okay in the end, I did not like Rachel, like at all, in the first 1/3 of the book.

She was rude, she was really defensive and judgmental and just very not pleasant. Although she got more manageable throughout the story, and we learn why she’s like this, I can’t help but feel like she was a still a little bit . . . much.

This is where I’d reconsider the enemies to lovers, because the enemy part is really one-sided. Sana likes Rachel, even in spite of her rudeness, while Rachel just despises Sana (for being the “good girl”, the cheerleader, etc.).

I kind of wish her character was toned down, and I don’t think she needed to be this rude to be enemies—and she was still so-so in the end. I’m not entirely sure if I’d say she learned a lot—she learned some, but I felt like even at the end, she was still kind of judgmental.

It’s weird because in the end, I liked her when she was with Sana. They were cute. But I also just did not think she was the best and found her to be mildly uncomfortable too with the way she acted in the story.

Overall, it’s a cute romance!

I did think this was cute and it definitely has its moments. I’d recommend if you think you’d be okay with an unlikeable MC who might not learn as much as you want them to? I was just really undecided on Rachel, and even though I loved Sana, I’m still a little so-so on her.

Also, I don’t feel super qualified to comment on this, but I’d like to point to Adiba’s review. None of the girls label themselves throughout the novel (which is totally valid!), but it did feel a bit like they were avoiding saying “queer” or “lesbian” or “bisexual” or “pansexual” or “gay.” They say an LGBTQIA+ word once in the entire book, and it’s to describe a trope, not an actual person.

Normally I wouldn’t find this weird, but I did think that given how sure Sana is and has been about her identity (from the get-go, she knows she likes girls and she has for a while), I did get some vibes like the story was avoiding using an LGBTQIA+ term and instead said many variations of “likes girls.” This doesn’t mean you can’t like Tell Me How You Really Feel, and I’m not the person who should be speaking on it (I didn’t let it affect my rating), but it did catch my eye as I was reading that it was repeating “likes girls” quite a lot, and so this is up to you.

3.5 stars

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Chloe Pierce isn’t supposed to audition for the dance conservatory of her dreams, but in an act of rebellion, she plans a road trip to go do so anyways.

But when boy-next-door and mortal enemy, Eli Greene blackmails her into taking him and his stinky old dog with her, her peaceful trip is suddenly a lot less peaceful.

With two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers and a lot of time in the car, maybe Chloe and Eli can reconcile their differences, all while both getting what they want.

add to goodreads here

Thank you so much to Fierce Reads for sending me an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review!

Rachel has hated Sana ever since the first day they met, when Sana asked her out as a joke. Sana’s perfect—a cheerleader, well-loved, and always with that glossy ponytail.  

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Rachel has hated Sana ever since the first day they met, when Sana asked her out as a joke. Sana’s perfect—a cheerleader, well-loved, and always with that glossy ponytail.  

Sana . . . hasn’t hated Rachel. (It wasn’t a joke either.) Her unrequited feelings have been dormant as she’s steered clear of Rachel and her obvious dislike of Sana.

But when the girls are forced together for a film project, and important life deadlines are approaching for both girls, they’ll have to reconcile their differences (or, Rachel will, at least) and work together to get things done. And maybe make something more.

add to goodreads here

Thank you so much to Dahlia Adler for sending me her ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Are you excited to read either of these?

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12 thoughts on “Double Enemies-to-Lovers Romance Reviews: I Wanna Be Where You Are + Tell Me How You Really Feel

  1. I Wanna Be Where You Are is already on my TBR list since I came across it on Twitter (possibly when the cover was revealed??) so thank you for reminding me about it! “oh no there’s only one bed” really cracked me up hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW! and yes, I’m glad to bring it back on your radar! (honestly I love that trope so much it’s so silly but v v cute ahahah)

      Like

  2. You make I Wanna Be Where You Are sound so cute!! I couldn’t help myself and read the first few pages of it, and I had to stop myself from reading everything because I told myself I’d actually follow my tbr, but I’m hoping to get back to it as soon as I can! Tell Me How You Really Feel sounds cute, but ahhh, you and other reviews’ criticisms are now making me hesitant to read it. Great reviews for both of these books though, and I’m actually loving these double reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT’S SO CUTE I AM JUST A VESSEL FOR ITS CUTENESS TBH

      and omg yes ahhhhh! i’m glad it was so tempting, I honestly love Chloe and eli so much it’s very fluffy! I don’t really fault anyone for liking/disliking TMHYRF on account for the part I mentioned–i think if you see yourself in it, that’s wonderful! It really is a good book, but that part was just kind of weird honestly

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh I LOVED I wanna be where you are so much as well, this book made me smile and made me so, so, soo very happy overall, too ❤ plus, I'm forever in love with that cover ahah. I'm curious about Tell Me How You Really Feel, it sounded so good but… I'm not sure right now ahah. I'll have to think about it 🙂
    Lovely reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg yes! i’m glad it made you smile and happy, that’s honestly one of the best feelings. I think there was a lot of potential in TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL, and I do think that if you know the Gilmore Girls storyline it’s based off of (Paris and someone?) then it might be more appealing to you? But yeah, if you do read it, I hope you enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OH MY GOD PARIS FROM GILMORE GIRLS ? LIKE, REALLY? I did not know that at all and I’m a huge fan of that show and Paris and ahhh okay. I might have to check it out now haha. Thank you for mentioning that!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oH YEAH! it’s definitely paris and rory? someone else? that it’s inspired by but definitely Gilmore Girls inspired. you definitely should–I think you’d get a lot more from the story than I, ahahah

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sad to hear Tell Me How You Really Feel wasn’t more highly rated for you, but so excited that you liked I Wanna Be Where You Are! That book is my new favorite book of 2019 and I’m definitely going to be telling people about it for forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YEA OMG IT’S SO CUTE AND FLUFFY! and yeah, I was pretty sad that it wasn’t a superinlove book for me, but I still enjoyed it overall ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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