Google+ Reading Teen: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (October 1, 2011)
Buy the book: Amazon

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?

Jaz Evans is a bi-racial teenager who lives with and been raised by her white grandmother. Her mother gave birth to her at 17 and gave responsibility for Jaz's care over to her parents. Jaz's father, a black man, was never in the picture of her life. Now at 34 Jaz's mother is pregnant again. She and her boyfriend, a younger black man, have a fairly stable relationship although the pregnancy was a surprise. While at a party, Jaz sees her best friend who is drunk as usual making out with a guy who turns out to be Simon, her mother's boyfriend. Now Jaz is faced with a tell or not to tell. She doesn't want to upset her mother at this delicate time but can't stand the idea of her new sibling being left without a father as she was.

I felt sorry for Jaz. She was a 17 year old black girl being raised in a white world by her Grandma and her mom. This was a problem for her because she had no one in her life to relate to until Simon came along. Then when she came face to face with Simon's betrayal she is even more lost. The problem was that I got tired of listening to Jaz whine. The stress that she feels comes out in anger against everyone in her life. She complains constantly about having no one but she doesn't do anything to change things. When Jackson Morgan comes into her life, she is attracted to him but holds him at arms' length. She never actually seems willing to try to improve her relationships or her life.

I felt like the book was somewhat schizophrenic....trying to decide if it was a book about race issues or about betrayal. I do understand that they were all wrapped up in one another but neither were adequately addressed. For me the book was just "okay".

  • Sexual Content:  Heavy
  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Violence:  Mild
  • Other Notables:  Underage drinking, drugs, partying
For more details, check out If I Tell on Parental Book Reviews

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I can't stand whiny characters most of the time. This sounds like an OK book regardless though.

    Xpresso Reads


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