If I Told You So
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If I Told You So

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The summer you turn sixteen is supposed to be unforgettable. It's the stuff of John Hughes movies and classic songs, of heart-stopping kisses and sudden revelations. But life isn't always like the movies. . .
For Sean Jackson, sixteen is off to an inauspicious start. His options: take a landscaping job in Georgia with his father, or stay in his small New Hampshire hometown,...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanTurning 16 by Perie WolfordAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
LGBT for YA
119th out of 281 books — 483 voters
Turning 16 by Perie WolfordSomething Like Summer by Jay BellMemorizing You by Dan SkinnerSafe by C. (Cody) KennedyOmorphi by C. (Cody) Kennedy
Best Gay Novels for Young Adults
132nd out of 146 books — 258 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 329)
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
This book is the gay equivalent of a song that I learned in Hebrew School as a kid.

Wherever you go there's always someone Jewish
You're never alone when you say you're a Jew
So when you're not home
And you're somewhere kind of 'newish'
The odds are--don't look far--
'Cause they're Jewish, too.


Substitute "Gay" with Jewish in this little song and you get the gist of this book.

This book is not really what I expected, though I should have now that I have read the blurb (after the fact, typical Heather!...more
Nichole (Dirty H)
Mar 11, 2013 Nichole (Dirty H) marked it as m-m-to-read
This trope is a weakness of mine, and the sample was really good. So why am I not at this very moment sitting somewhere with my hot little hands on my kindle (or phone, as the case may be) devouring this puppy?

Because it is priced at 12.99. Twelve-fucking-ninetynine for an e-book. So I'm supposed to feel like I'm getting a deal when it's on sale at Amazon for $9.39. Fuck that noise.

If I can get this cheaper, I'll be reading it. It's not on ARe, so I can't even save it for my free book. :(
Brian
This is a really good coming of age, summer of love, first love book.

The characters are likable and believable, the settings are realistic. The conflicts and the story line keep you reading.

The only problem I have, where I feel things suffer, is in the romance itself and how it plays out. The author does a good job with the internal dialog of the main character, but the love / romance seems so weak that when things happen it just didn't seem true.

Now, the way the story plays out with the boyfrie...more
Brian
Oh, I'm torn about If I Told You So, so much so that if I could give it 3.5 stars, I would.

On the plus side, we have Sean Jackson, the main character, and the rather poignant beginning to his coming out journey. I really liked who Sean ultimately ended up being by the end of the book, and I thought the interplay between him and his mom was touching, yet pretty realistic.

I also enjoyed many of the side characters, though this is where we venture into the minus side of the book. I wish the author...more
Heather
Step aside Rainbow High books, there is a new contender in LGBT YA Lit! Timothy's novel captures the essence of coming of age in a small New Hampshire Lakes Region town. As a matter of fact, at times this novel so echoes my family's experience that it is eerie; he's written something true here. I cannot wait to recommend this book to my school's librarian, to CHS's GSA, and to GLSEN!
Rochella
Also posted on iamaloserkidreviews.blogspot.com

This is another must read YA LGBT book. It's definitely up there with Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher, Fan Art by Sarah Tregay, Collide by J.R. Lenk and Something Like Summer by Jay Bell.

The story is about Sean who has pretty much known his whole life he likes guys but has never done anything about it in his sixteen years of life. He has a girlfriend who he likes, but not that way. He starts to think more about his sexuality when Jay and Becky enter...more
April
Honestly, this book was just really cute and a lot of things that I like in a light pleasure read, summertime and first love and the Fourth of July. It was also refreshing to read LGBT YA lit for once, which can sometimes be easily overlooked.
Sean Kennedy
Pleasant, but in the end, unremarkable summer love story. I guess that's progress? It kind of reads like a gay Sweet Dreams or Horizons book. I would have been a bit more generous but I think there were some glossings over and plot holes that could have been addressed. For example, I get that the kid is scared of telling his dad he's gay because his father has said some pretty homophobic things, but by the end he's all lah-di-dah and dad will be fine with it even though there has been nothing to...more
Peter
Just finished this book today & it was really good. Another one that I finished in less than two days but didn’t want to because I was so into the book’s world. I loved the main character of Sean who was a whole lot more with it than I was at sixteen. The book starts out with him trying to find a summer job so as to not be forced to spend the summer with his dad in another state so he finds a job at an ice cream shop. He also happens to be in a relationship with a beautiful girl who’s smart,...more
Russell Sanders
Sweet. Gentle. Uplifting. A beach read. I'm not a beach person, so I'm not quite sure what a "beach read" is, but if it what I think it is--a quick, light, enjoyable, uplifting book--then this certainly qualifies. It is a beach read for gay teens. In If I Told You So, sixteen year old Sean Jackson navigates the sometimes treacherous waters of coming out. And he does so in an idyllic setting, a quaint New Hampshire lake village. There is very little angst here--everything pretty much goes smoothl...more
Erica
I also had the honor of reading this wonderful book pre-publication. I have and will continue to recommend it to everyone I meet. It is an amazing coming of age story, whether gay, bi, straight or questioning... this story is about growing into who you are truly meant to be. Plus, ice cream!
Joshua Wiles
If I Told You So by Timothy Woodward, is about a teenager in a small New England town coming to terms with his sexuality and all that entails: coming out and first love among them. Obviously we've seen stories like this before, so nothing really new happens here.

But from the first page to the last, the writing of Woodward grabs you by the neck and doesn't let go. The characters come across as very realistic. The details of the tiny town of Bell Cove bring it to life. The dialogue is on point an...more
Pjm12
A great title for YA LGBT readers. Sean's voice comes through realistically. His journey is a little predictable, but that makes it identifiable and authentic.

Great secondary characters - particularly the two girls, Becky & Lisa.

J.H. Trumble
I had the pleasure of reading this novel pre-publication. It's a great summer story of young love and ice cream! Honest and satisfying.
Christopher
Fantastic novel, light and fun with some serious thrown in for good measure. Hope there is a follow up novel.
Jamie Deacon
This story is truly wonderful in its simplicity. Timothy Woodward’s style has such a gentle warmth that all I had to do was let it wash over me, carrying me along for the ride. As humorous as it is touching, ‘If I Told You So’ is an authentic coming-of-age novel set over the course of one life-altering summer. From the eccentric owner of The Pink Cone ice cream shop, to outspoken city girl Becky, the book is filled with characters that who have earned a permanent place in my heart.

On the whole,...more
Tiffaney
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abigail
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John
Hovering between 3.5 and 4 - there are some solid moments in here, and it mostly surprised me in good ways. Sean, when he came out to various characters, was always accepted. It flip-flopped between being about this "learning about gaydom" storyline and the romance between Jay and Sean, although I found myself liking the non-romance portions more as the story concluded. It follows a pretty standard YA summer romance path, with Jay being a first love that doesn't treat Sean well as the storyline...more
Melanie Adkins
Sean is a sixteen year old boy who seems to have it all. A loving, if overprotective Mother, a popular girlfriend and a job. What more could a teen want? While working at the local ice cream shop, Sean discovers he doesn't quite have life figured out yet. His feelings are growing stronger for someone new and he isn't sure how to navigate this new world. He's not sure who to trust and how much of himself to share. In time though, his decisions lead him to the happiest place he's been in awhile.

...more
Andrew
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hayley
I wish I could say that I loved this book. It has all the tropes I love. What I didn't like...The author began several story arcs that just went no where. (view spoiler)...more
James
Jan 14, 2013 James rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbt
Sean is a high school student who opts to spend his summer vacation working at the ice cream shop in his small New Hampshire town rather than across the country with his father. A new friend and a crush on his male supervisor (Jay) lead to a lot of changes in Sean's life.

None of the plot elements are anything new: distant relationship with parents (check), closer to mother than father (check), girlfriend thats more like a good friend (check), new best friend / gay mentor (check), first love that...more
Sam Poole
Cute but somewhat typical. Nice story line though, even if it is a story about queer identity written as palpably and non controversially as possible. Some fun little details. Would read more by this author!
Trisha
This is a terrific addition to the growing YA LGBT genre. Sean's journey is well documented, without being too preachy or cliched. Yes, there are a few predictable plot devices (the older first love, the slightly homophobic father, etc), but these work well to allow Sean to express his concerns about coming out realistically.

Becky the new friend from New York adds a much needed element of humour and wit - It's important these sorts of stories don't get booged down with Very Important Messages, s...more
Matthew Lee
Huge let down for me... Sorry I couldn't get past 33 %
Isaac sanchez
It so true to first love and having a good friend.
Josh
I have mixed feelings about this book. In some ways I appreciated the real depiction of coming out and the mixed bag of emotions that goes with it but in other ways it was all just too simple. Sean didn't have the depth I hoped for, and if you've seen any of the flat gay-themed movies Netflix offers, you'll recognize the plot's generic outline. Overall, it's a nice fling, but I wouldn't put a ring on it.
Chase Potter
I was on the fence about this book all the way through. Something that bothered me was that the plot line about the father's anticipated reaction to Sean's coming out (the one that the book started with) was ultimately ignored by the end, with only a few short paragraphs explaining it away. I liked the pace and progression, but I felt like the author could have brought more to the table.
Michael
A cute coming-of-age story that was unfortunately really predictable (as many stories in this genre are). The writing was a little weak but it didn't slow down. All the major characters are there: the female best friend, the first love, the wise girl who's always right, etc. Overall it's a nice read, but it's not one of my favorites.
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