Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
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 is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel that is sure to warm your heart. Gurtler confronts many issues that plague teens and doesn’t sugar coat anything. I was shocked by how fast this book pulled me in. I wasn’t expecting to love this novel as much as I did. I have to say that IF I TELL is one of my favorite contemporary YA books out there.
Jasmine is an insecure, hurt, and distraught biracial girl whose life is an absolute mess when IF I TELL opens up. Because she is biracial, she has dealt with the criticism from onlookers her entire life. She isn’t sure where she fits in, and feels like the black sheep of her town. To make matters worse, her relationship with her young mother isn’t very healthy. Her grandmother and grandfather raised her since her mother was 17 when she had Jasmine, and she resents her mother for that. Matters only get worse when she catches her mother’s boyfriend kissing her best friend, and when she’s about to tell her mother the truth, she finds out she’s pregnant!
Thus ensues much drama and pain for Jasmine. I truly felt awful for Jasmine. She feels like she has no one in the world, and isn’t really living at all. She has lost one of her only friends, Lacey, because she can’t forgive her for doing that to her mom. And then there is Simon, her mom’s boyfriend. They have always been so close, but when she catches him with Lacey, she feels so betrayed. If I was in Jasmine’s shoes, I wouldn’t know what to do either. I did get annoyed at her at times because she did have other friends around her, but she was too blind to see the truth.
My favorite character in IF I TELL was definitely Jackson. He comes into the story and sweeps Jasmine right off her feet. Though Jasmine won’t admit it because she has a “few” issues she is working through. I loved how understanding he was about Jasmine’s situation. Even if she won’t tell him her secrets or open up to him, he respects her. And then there is the fact that he has this mysterious vibe to him. You never know quite what is going on with him, or what is the truth about his past.
IF I TELL is an honest and delightful YA that I can guarantee you will love! I just want to go back and re-read the whole novel, even though I have a ton of other books to read. IF I TELL is a keeper, that’s for sure!