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If I Told You So
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If I Told You So

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  259 Ratings  ·  55 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,
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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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
May 20, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it
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
Nichole (Dirrty H)
Jan 26, 2015 Nichole (Dirrty H) marked it as no-thanks
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. :(
Aug 07, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
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!
Aug 31, 2014 Rochella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ya, glbt, ebook
Also posted on

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
Sean Kennedy
Jun 04, 2013 Sean Kennedy rated it liked it
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
May 31, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing
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!
Apr 20, 2014 April rated it liked it
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.
Oct 28, 2012 Pjm12 rated it it was amazing
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.

Sep 10, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
Fantastic novel, light and fun with some serious thrown in for good measure. Hope there is a follow up novel.
J.H. Trumble
Mar 30, 2012 J.H. Trumble rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 22, 2013 Abigail rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-lgbt, read-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Deacon
May 02, 2014 Jamie Deacon rated it really liked it
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,
Casey Carlisle
Feb 18, 2016 Casey Carlisle rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbtqia, contemporary
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Rebellious teens, idiotic dares, sassy best friends, gorgeous boys and lots of ice cream!

When I was reading this, it felt like sitting around with a bunch of friends reminiscing about our summers in high school – it was realistic, intimate and heart-warming.

‘If I Told You So’ really captures those moments of first love – or first contact and physical closeness. The innocence and naivety wrestling with hormonal forces beyond control. The urgency. And the finality of action
Feb 14, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
This book surprised me. Initially, I thought it was going to be your run of the mill YA M/M novel. Summer of love type stuff. And lots of cliche's. That's what I thought.

Well, I was right. Except, I never expected it all would work. It's not a complex story. But it worked.

Initially, I didn't like Sean...the 16yr old who only can tell his ceiling fan that he's gay. That is until, due to a turn of events forcing him to find a job at the local Ice Cream shop, he meets two people that will change
Mar 06, 2015 J rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
So I tried to have a few conversations about this novel before I put words in digital print. I was left with mixed emotions, and not sure if I've judged the piece unfairly.

This definitely felt like a first novel, and I want to say the bottom line for me is that the writing was promising, and Woodward should continue to find what it is he wants to say to YA readers.

My reluctance to enthuse more is based on several factors. First, I felt there were anachronistic contradictions. The flip phones,
Mar 23, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-themed
If I Told You So is a feel good coming out story set in a small vacation town that has a great main character, Sean, who grows and deepens throughout the novel in a realistic way. His new best friend Becky is fantastic as well, pushing Sean to finally become who he should be, a proudly out boy. In fact, pretty much everyone is a good person. Reneé, his new boss at the ice cream shop, is slightly over the top and fabulous. Is his new boyfriend Jay a good person? Will they remain together at the e ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Sep 16, 2012 John rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2013 Tiffaney rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, ya, coming-of-age
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2013 Hayley rated it liked it
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
Melanie Adkins
Dec 09, 2013 Melanie Adkins rated it it was amazing
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.

Joshua Wiles
Sep 04, 2014 Joshua Wiles rated it it was amazing
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
Russell Sanders
May 21, 2014 Russell Sanders rated it liked it
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
Jan 14, 2013 James rated it really liked it
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
Shane Bunn
Jul 30, 2016 Shane Bunn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens, gay teens, LGBTQ youth
This is a sweet novel about one 16-year-old boy's summer of discovery. Sean's new pal Becky pulls him out of the closet, which apparently was made of glass given how many people suspected it all along. He finds his first love in Jay, his 18-year-old manager. He faces coming out to his mom, his absentee dad, his church-going girlfriend. The book follows him through all of the highs and lows that one would expect in a young kid struggling to figure out who he is in a small town.

I thought the stor
Alannah Davis
Mar 06, 2016 Alannah Davis rated it it was amazing
A pleasant, absorbing YA book about 16-year-old Sean, who knows he is gay but doesn't know what to do about it in his small town, in which he thinks he is the only gay (other than ice cream store owner Renee). When he gets a summer job at the ice cream store and meets savvy New Yorker Becky and gorgeous manager Jay, his life changes. I hate the term "coming of age," so I'm just going to say that this is a perfect book for young gay teens who think they are alone. The likable, well-defined charac ...more
Nathan Bartos
Apr 04, 2016 Nathan Bartos rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, books-i-own
3.5 stars (when will Goodreads give us half stars?) This book was cute, and a warm, welcome reminder that no one is as alone as they think and things aren't as bad as you build them up to be in your head. However, this doesn't really add anything new to the LGBTQ contemporary fiction genre and is a pretty standard coming-out/coming-of-age/first love story. Not overly impressed, but the writing wasn't bad, and the characters were mostly likable, especially the friendships, even if at some points ...more
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