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Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Monday, December 5, 2011
5 Stars: A Great Read
Paperback: 244 Pages
Publication: Octoer 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks Teen Fire

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?

Janet Gurtler has made my list of favorite teen contemporary writers. From the beginning, she had me immersed in the story and unable to look away because I could never find a good stopping point. I just had to find out what happened next, even when I knew something bad was going to happen and I wouldn't want to know about it.

In a small town community that doesn't look kindly on Jasmine for her mixed blood, Jasmine is used to distancing herself from even the few friends that she has. The only way she knows how to cope is through her guitar--and music. Jasmine's voice is so real and strong that I could empathize with her, despite never having to deal with the conflicts that she has had: from whether or not to tell about what she saw to dealing with her biracial blood.

The supporting characters themselves have problems of their own. Even Jasmine's mom's boyfriend and her "best friend" serve as more than the central conflict of the story, and Jasmine will learn more about herself and those around her as the story progresses.

I was happy with the romance. I've seen too much of the hot guy that all the girls want, but Jackson is such a sweet guy. While there are dark rumors surrounding him, Jackson is also trying to make his place in the world. It also helps that he's there for Jasmine and goes out of his way for her. Just what I like to see in a guy.

Gurtler isn't afraid to tackle tough issues or sensitive topics. Her debut novel I'm Not Her is about cancer. If I Tell handles racial issues, teen pregnancy, and identity issues. Added to the very real, emotional, and perfectly imperfect characters, Gurtler is definitely an author to watch out for! I'm Not Her has been on my TBR list for too long, and I plan on correcting this problem as soon as possible!

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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

1 comment on "Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler"
  1. I really want to read this one I haven't even read a book by Janet Yet. Awesome review it does sound great and the romance sounds refreshing!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

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