Thursday, September 29, 2011

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler Title: If I Tell  
Author: Janet Gurtler  
Publisher: Sourcebooks  
Furnished by Netgalley  
Expected Publications: October 1, 2011  
Janet Gurtler’s Blog  
Janet’s Twitter
  • Synopsis:
Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

If I Tell affected me on so many levels. Ms. Gurtler concocted a story riddled with complications varying from racial identities to social awkwardism to sexual identities. This story of a young girl who struggles just to survive each day, touched every nerve in my body. The few friends Jaz has she keeps at a distance, ultimately pushing them away causing her own loneliness.
  • Jasmine Evans is the only biracial person at a tiny school in Washington. Talk about a girl with trust issues…she has them all. Her dad never wanted her, her mom left her with her grandmother, her friends tried to drown her in the fourth grade, seven years later they still torture her, she was nearly raped by a friend, she busted her best friend kissing her pregnant mother’s boyfriend. Can the new boy in town break down the walls she has built or will he too betray her?
  • Lacey is her best friend who drinks a little too much and throws herself at anyone who looks her way. Even people who are off limits.
  • Nathan just so happens to be Lacey’s roomate and he has an eye on Jaz.
  • Simon is Jaz’s mom’s boyfriend. They are expecting a baby and Jasmine would be excited if she could just forget what she saw.
  • Ashley is the one of Jasmine’s friends who doesn’t want anything from her. The problem is Jaz can’t bring herself to trust anyone.
  • Jackson is the new bad boy in town with a reputation he earned. He appears honest and wants to be Jaz’s friend. Problem is Jaz may want more than he can offer.
If I Tell is written in the first person from Jaz’s point of view. With Jaz’s multitudes of emotion you are in for quite a ride. The girl who appears to be a loner hiding away picking at a guitar is hiding so much beneath the circle. She grew up a biracial girl in a white household and nobody to help her discover the other half of her. Her granddad is the one person that she could always talk to, but he passed away. This aspect of the story is probably the only part that I couldn’t connect with, not being biracial and all.

Jackson wants nothing more than to be Jaz’s friend but breaking through her tough exterior will prove to be much more difficult than he expects. Never fear though…Jackson is one patient kid who always gets what he wants.

There is so much in this book that any teenager could relate to. I highly recommend it. The writing is powerful and pulls feelings from you that may not be expected. It is the type of book that really makes you think. There were times I had to put the book down because I was embarrassed for Jaz and then there were times I cried for her. In the end…I was just proud of her for owning up to her mistakes and apologizing to those she hurt.

*If I Tell is an uncorrected e-proof obtained via NetGalley from Sourcebooks Publishing in return for my honest review.


  1. What a great review! So thoughtful and I love it! Thanks so much for reading IF I TELL!

  2. This sounds really good. Especially when you feel like reading something other than YA paranormal. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads



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