S.A. Larsen's Reviews > If I Tell

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
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Jan 10, 12

bookshelves: contest-giveaway
Read from November 22 to December 10, 2011

IF I TELL explores the age-old struggle of discovering information that could hurt someone if revealed and what to do with that information. And being a teen takes it to a new level.

Jasmine is very easy to like, probably because she's like some teens who keep appearances outside but their insides tell a different story. She's never felt worthy of her life. Her birth put a damper on her mother's life, so she was raised by her grandparents. She and her mom have a good relationship, though, which was an interesting sway from what I expected.

Compounding matters, Jasmine's mother and grandparents are Caucasian, where her birth father was black. She ends up with dark skin and lives in an area that doesn't let her forget it. EVERYONE seems to know that she's a mixture of black and white, which bothers her. She doesn't feel black or white or that she belongs with either.Being a product of inter-racial parents as well as an absent parent (her birth father) is at the heart of so many emotions for this girl, and I'm sure many teens will relate to it.

The inner conflicts of this character from her racial attitude to her fear of water and not being accepted are deep and well distributed throughout the story. The reader discovers more about Jasmine just as Jasmine discovers more about herself. The writing is fluent, stringing one scene to the next.

The slow unfolding of a hidden lie moves the story along and intertwines other characters and emotions. Using a boy with a shady past added conflict for Jasmine and tension, even a bit of mystery to the story.

In the end, the story and characters grow and the reader is satisfied. I would recommend this book to any teen or contemporary reader.
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Reading Progress

11/22/2011 page 156
61.0% "As in Gurtler's debut novel, the writing flows with such ease. The story is poignant, yet powerful."
12/09/2011 page 256
100.0% "Official review to be released soon."

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