Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi // BLOG TOUR and Q+A

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hello, Lovely People! Today, I am so thrilled to be able to take part in the epic blog tour for Aminah Mae Safi's debut novel, Not The Girls You're Looking For. As part of this tour (hosted by Aimee, Always), Aminah has agreed to allow me to interview her about this story in hopes that we can convince you to check it out. *winks*

So if you'd like to get the inside scoop on this new novel & even get a little SNEAK PEEK at an excerpt—keep reading!


TITLE: Not the Girls You're Looking For
AUTHOR: Aminah Mae Safi
PUBLISH DATE: June 19th 2018
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends

Lulu Saad doesn't need your advice, thank you very much. She's got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It's all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can't find her way out of this mess soon, she'll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She'll have to go looking for herself.

Debut author Aminah Mae Safi's honest and smart novel is about how easy it can be to hurt those around you even if —especially if—you love them.

Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and the Fast and Furious franchise. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. Originally raised in Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner, a cat bent on world domination, and another cat who’s just here for the snacks. 


Hannah Marie: Aminah, thank you soooo much for joining me on my blog today! I'm thrilled to have you here. :)

Aminah: Thank you so much for having me, Hannah Marie— I’m thrilled to be here!

Q1: What inspired you to write Not the Girls You're Looking For?

My father sent me a copy of Tamara Chalabi’s Late for Tea at The Deer Palace: Lost Dreams of My Iraqi Family, which is this amazing family memoir that spans the length of the twentieth century. It’s a personal look at much of the way the changing political landscape shaped a single family. Chalabi wrote an intro about what it was to be given Iraq in memories from her father, and needing to see the land for herself. The way she talked about it was so visceral for me— the idea of a homeland passed down to you through family memory, a homeland that exists possibly only in memory— that I realized my own experience of multiculturalism was not singular. I thought, If her book resonates with me in this way, then there might be other people who’d want a story of a girl who lives her life in between cultures.

Q2: If you had to pitch this book as a hybrid of two (or more) other books, which ones would it consist of and why?

Well, when I went on submission, my agent and I did pitch this as Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca meets Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before because of the combination of friendships and sisterhood. And I always think of it as my ode to Mean Girls and messy friendship and bad decisions. I think if you like messy characters and fierce young women, you’ll enjoy Not The Girls You’re Looking For.

Q3: What do you hope people walk away with after reading Not the Girls You're Looking For? In other words, what it the theme of your story?

I hope they take away that we’re all stories. I hope that they take away that their own story deserves to be seen and heard, just like anyone else’s. I also wrote a lot in this book about hurt, misunderstanding, and seeking forgiveness and redemption. So I hope you think about what it means to seek forgiveness, and what it means to forgive another person. But I think every reader will take away their own conclusions about that, which is fine by me.

Q4: Can we expect any more stories with Lulu in the future? (If not, do you have plans for any new books that we can look forward to?)

I’m very "never say never” about what I’ll write, but for now— nothing more from Lulu. I do have my second book coming out of June of 2019, which is an enemies to lovers rom-com!

Q5: Where can everyone go to snag their personal copy of Not the Girls You're Looking For, so they can enjoy it?

Well, if they want a signed copy, I’ll be signing at Blue Willow Books, and you can pre-order a signed copy there! Otherwise, the usual suspects: Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s. There’s also an audiobook [via Audible] if that’s more your jam!



Lulu grabbed his shirt where the lapels of his coat ought to have been. She could feel his chest underneath her knuckles. She watched the confusion cross his face, which nearly brought on a smile that would have spoiled the entire affectation. For added drama, she put a swooning hand across her forehead. "How did you know? I can't live without you. Take me now."
 She bowed backwards over, across his still-outstretched arm, in a posed faint. For a moment, Dane Anderson stayed impossibly still.
Lulu popped upright, laughing. "Get over yourself, Anderson."
"You think you're so clever, don't you? I'll bet you think you're special, huh?" There was an edge to Anderson's voice. A tension Lulu couldn't quite read. His eyes narrowed, the unnatural lighting catching his too long lashes in their blue tint. His looks and his power would ruin him, if they hadn't already.
He was a boy made to be conquered, maybe even saved. But not by Lulu. She was neither a knight nor a Nightingale. She was a girl made to be selfish. She would have her own adventures. "Don't worry, I don't think I'm special. But I'm not stupid, either. I know what you try."
"Honey," he said, "If I'd ever tried with you--"
Lulu placed the tips of her fingers across his pouting lips, staying their movement. So soft, and yet so pliant to such meanness. She removed her hand quickly. "Do yourself a favor. Don't finish that."
Lulu made a move to swing out from under his arm, but he leaned in close to whisper into her ear, blocking her face from view. "Oh, Lulu. Innocent little Lulu. I don't need to finish it. I can tell. You've got the imagination to fill it in perfectly." He touched her temples.
Lulu stood so still she thought her pulse paused along with her. "You're a douche, Dane." She pushed out from under him, but she needn't have. He released her immediately, making Lulu wonder if he'd been holding on all that tightly to begin with.


If you are as pumped about this story as the rest of us, follow the rest of the tour & keep your eyes open for the big release!! There are many more awesome blog posts coming up, full of other excerpts, interviews, and even...... a giveaway??

And if you decide to post about this tour online, be sure to use the hashtag #NTGLYFBlogTour so everyone can follow & join in on the fun!


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