Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Title: If I Tell
Author: Janet Gurtler site
Format: Paperback, 244 pages
Release Date: 10/01/2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Library

“Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a one night 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?”

How it starts:
Jasmine has a big secret. She saw her mother’s younger boyfriend, Simon, kissing her best friend Lacey at a party. She plans to do the right thing and tell her mom. But Jasmine’s mother has some news for her first. She’s pregnant, with Simon’s baby. How can Jasmine tell her mother now?

Jasmine, protagonist, was okay. There are some ways to relate to her character, and she isn’t unlikable. There just wasn’t anything imparticular about her the made me really want to root for her, something that made her stand out from the crowd. I did like that the author wasn’t afraid to have Jasmine have some flaws. Not of the 2-D variety, but of her personality. She is a bit of a hypocrite. And I like that this is later acknowledged in the story.

Jackson, love interest, was a funny character and had a lighter quality to him compared to Jasmine. The only problem I had with him, was that he was suffering from PCD, Perfect Character Disorder. He’s a little too “always understanding” and “fun loving” for an ex-drug addict. Not that an ex-addict can’t be that way just that no human being is that perfect. He’s a real “cutesy” character.

I had no trouble getting interested in the story. There’s a big attention getter right from the get go. The only issue seems to be in the quantity craziness in Jasmine’s life. There is a lot of drama going on in If I Tell. There’s the stress of keeping a big secret, best friend betrayal, being biracial in a small town, losing friends/pushing people away, depression, learning to trust, and dealing with parent abandonment issues. The recurring theme that ties it all together seems to be “learning to forgive”. It’s not a bad message, maybe a little cliché, but still a good message. This book is well written, but it’s a little hard to believe that all of these things would happen to one person at the same time. Jasmine’s life kind of reminded me of a soap opera. Like there was too much going on in one book.

I liked this one okay. I definitely liked it better that The Bell Jar, the last book I read. I’m going to give this one 3.5 stars. I don’t think this will be one of my favorites, but wasn’t half bad.


  1. Emma If I tell has been on my wishlist. Glad to see it was ok.

    Saw your The Bell Jar review. Didn't like that book either:) Some classics aren't as good as others say.

  2. I actually really liked this book, definitely more than I was expecting too but I do know what you mean about there being just a little too much going on for just one person.