If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I Tell
Author – Janet Gurtler
Reviewer – Stephanie
Rating – B/4; Great would want to read again /N/A
Reading Level – Young Adult
Pages – 244
Publisher – Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date – 2011
Source – Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

If I Tell is told from Jaz’s point of view. Jaz is seventeen years old. She’s been a loner since grade school. She is being raised by her grandmother. Jaz is biracial. Her mother was white and her father was black and didn’t stick around to be there for her. He doesn’t even acknowledge her. Jaz is frequently caught between her grandmother and mother. Her grandmother can be hard on Jaz’s mom but sometimes she deserves it. 

One night Jaz is made privy to something that she’d rather not have known. Her best friend is getting hot and heavy with Simon, her mother’s boyfriend of five years. Jaz knows what she has to do and right before she has the chance to tell her mom, her mom drops a bombshell on Jaz that changes the game. Jaz is going to be a big sister. 

Now Jaz is forced to make a choice: keep Simon’s secret or break her mom’s heart and complicate her life. Jaz is able to keep it together for a little while. She has a few friends but no one she can trust with the secret. Ashley and Jackson are outcasts like Jaz. Ashley is an open lesbian and Jackson is fresh out of rehab. Jaz wants to have more with Jackson but her life is complicated as it is. Soon the secret starts to eat at her and no one understands what’s going on. How long can she keep the secret before something happens?

I really enjoyed If I Tell by Janet Gurtler. I sympathized with Jaz. She was alone and she was keeping a secret to try and protect everyone around her. Jaz kept the secret until it hurt her. When she finally acknowledged the secret she handled it really well. There was some collateral damage from keeping the secret and Jaz handled that like an adult as well. I liked the characters and their development. 

If I Tell held my interest but mostly because I wanted to know what happened. It wasn’t really a suspenseful with-bated-breath kind of read. I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the characters. If I Tell is a great book if you’re looking to spend a little time in someone else’s shoes. 

4 stars


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: