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If I Tell

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,628 ratings  ·  234 reviews
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.

Paperback, 244 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  1,628 ratings  ·  234 reviews

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Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote it so I totally know what happens at the end. ;)

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

2.5 stars

I could relate to the main character Jasmine in a way. I understood why she felt like she never fit in because of her skin color and the way she looks. I know the feeling. But she pretty much annoyed me for the majority of the book. The secret she kept from her mother.... It made me wonder why she even bothered keeping it to herself, since she started taking out her frustrations on the one person she was trying to protect. Telling her m
Ashley - Book Labyrinth
When I finished this novel I thought to myself “How come more people didn’t tell me how awesome Janet Gurtler’s writing is?!”. She totally has my favourite type of contemporary voice, a la Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, and Deb Caletti. And those three are some of my favourite contemp writers, so that is a massive compliment.

‘If I Tell’ originally intrigued me, but its concept didn’t necessarily appeal to me. I mean, the girl sees her Mom’s boyfriend kissing her best friend?! It sounds pretty sk
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok


1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or
ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

[ dict ]

A half white, half black teen finds herself in a conflicted situation when she sees her pregnant mom's boyfriend hooking up with another woman. Responsibility falls into her hands. Keep the lie or face the facts and confront the truth? As Jaz decides to keep this dirty little secret, her relationship
Demi (Breaking Bookshelves)
More reviews on Breaking Bookshelves.
eBook from Netgalley.

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler is a story of stereotypes, of discrimination and stigma, of a secret and a lapse in judgement. It is a novel about Jasmine (Jaz) Evans, a “mistake” – a half-white, half-black mutt. She has a young mother, a father who does not want her, and she lives in a town so small and so ignorant that fitting in has not come easy. She sees herself as the stain her classmates have so eloquently told her she was. Yet, she sti
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, review-copy
Review also posted on my blog:The Book Barbies

3.5 stars rounded to 4

I didn't really have any opinions or expectation when going into this book. To prove to you how true that is: somehow I read the summary wrong and thought that instead of Jasmine- the MC- catching her mom's boyfriend- Simon- with her bestfriend I though that she caught her MOM with her bestfriend and so I was completely lost at the beginning and when I read the summary again I had an OHHHHH! moment.

Which leads me to, I LOVE WHE
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
IF I TELL is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel that is sure to warm your heart. Gurtler confronts many issues that plague teens and doesn't sugar coat anything. I was shocked by how fast this book pulled me in. I wasn't expecting to love this novel as much as I did. I have to say that IF I TELL is one of my favorite contemporary YA books out there.

Jasmine is an insecure, hurt, and distraught biracial girl whose life is an absolute mess when IF I TELL opens up. Because she is biracial, sh
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
If I Tell is first and foremost a deeply realistic novel (maybe you can't tell by the summary which at first sounded to me like a soap opera blurb), but given any other setup, any other place and situation, the core of it is as realistic as it can be. The main conflict revolves around an alcohol-induced mistake. If told, it could destroy several lives. As Jasmine struggles with herself weighing the pros and cos of telling the truth,she learns that everyone makes mistakes, but also that some of t ...more
I was prepared for a fun, light teen novel about some big questions.
Easy and kind of glazed over.

What I got?

Harsh reality and burning truth.

Social structure, interracial misgivings, identity crisis for the old and the young, lies, half truths, pain, loss, ended friendships, broken promises and shaken trusts, cheating and forgiving, child neglect and peer abuse, tears and ugly words, hugs and love, young hope, bright futures, new beginnings, better tomorrows and tighter bonds, new families and ol
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have to say this book was a refreshing. It is not live every other book I read. The protagonist is imperfect and full of so many things and questions herself. It was great to see her journey of acceptance and understanding for not just just herself, but those around her. I love each and every character in this book.
Kim Baccellia
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Janet Gurtler has to be my new favorite contemporary YA author! Loved this story. Review coming soon!

My YA Books Central review:
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Romance

FORM: eBook, Netgalley, ARC

While I was granted permission to read this book by a NetGalley affiliate publisher, Sourcebooks, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: Jasmine wasn’t suppose to see her best friend making out with her mother’s boyfriend, she wasn’t suppose to see how they embraced madly, driven by lust and alcohol, nor how it looked like the whole event was just getting started, so she turned away an
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Elizabeth Scott, Tess Oliver, Jennifer Jalabey
Shelves: books-that-rock
MC Jasmine ("Jaz") had her fair share of issues to contend with, even before she saw her Mom's boyfriend making out with Jaz's skank-a-rific "best friend" Lacey at that party. Issues, you ask? Well, she's never really gotten over being abandoned by her Dad, who split as soon as he found out that her Mom was pregnant at seventeen. She's the only bi-racial kid in a town that is pretty backward and mean about that sort of thing. Her grandfather Joe, the one guy she could count on, died recently, an ...more
If there's one thing that I can say about "If I Tell" definitively - it's an addicting read and I honestly couldn't put this book down as I read it. It had me hooked from beginning to end and I honestly say I couldn't put it down to see what happens to Jasmine (Jaz), the leading character. It's very much a drama about a young woman who faces a lot of issues in her life and finds herself carried within a downward spiral of events, so much so that she's almost swallowed by it and even swept within ...more
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
More reviews at

Our words can be very powerful, and what we do say and what do not, can make big changes in our life as well as in the life of those around us. If I Tell by Janet Gurtler is a book that raises many "what If ..." questions and make readers put themselves in strong emotional situations. Heartbreaking and emotionally evocative, If I Tell is is a story of self-growing, understanding and forgiveness. Certainly, after turning the last page, readers will
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was absolutely thrilled to be given the chance to review Jane Gurtler’s young adult fiction ‘If I Tell’ (published October 2011) by the generous folks over at Sourcebooks and Net Galley. I have been waiting patiently to read this after falling in love with the cover’s whimsical palate of aqua and greens, which promises only good things to come. Indeed, I read it across the span of a night and finished in the early hours of the morning.

In many ways, the central image of the girl staring into th
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
In my opinion, I think "If I Tell " was a very well written book because it is so realistic. The author seems to incorporate many serious issues that our culture has to face. The topic was very emotional and the characters intense. The book urged me to keep reading. What really kept me on the edge of my seat was the main character deciding on whether to share a secret. The writer also did a great job of developing many emotions experienced in the story. The lessons learned about forgiveness, tru ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Really, more like 3.5 stars. Goodreads--you need a 1/2 star option.

As someone who is generally wary of contemporary YA reads, simply because it's not a genre that I widely enjoy, I was incredibly intrigued by this story and began rather cautiously. What I discovered: Ms. Gurtler's writing is phenomenal. Her skill with words creates a realistic image of a teenager struggling through a crisis and pulls you along for the ride. I noted early on that this book had the "train wreck" effect--you know t
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jaz has secrets. Deep secrets that she is afraid to share with anyone else. After all, she has been let down and ostracized before. Who's to say that by letting anyone new in it won't happen again? Cue a story that is stunningly written, and heartrendingly intriguing. From page one I was involved in Jaz's life. I read long into the night, unwilling to stop until I flipped that very last page.

One of the reasons I've fallen in love with contemporary fiction is how amazing and real the characters c
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Originally Posted at:

Have you ever been in a situation where you're not sure who to tell what, and even if you should tell anyone?
Well, Jaz has A LOT going through her mind. Janet Gurtler's novel has touched on racism, results of teen pregnancy, secrets and finding yourself. I haven't been fortunate enough to find myself a copy of I'm Not Her, the first Janet Gurtler book I'd ever heard of, but I've heard some amazing things about it. All I know is that i
Stephanie (Once Upon a Chapter)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Janet Gurtler has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors. She made me ache with her debut, I'm Not Her, and yet again she made me feel deeply for her realistic characters in If I Tell. If you have not read either books by this author, I would definitely recommend that you get on that. Soon.

If I Tell revolves around a secret. A secret that could change not just one life, but many. Jasmine is burdened with the dilemma of either keeping a secret she feels she should share and accept
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
If I Tell is a beautifully written novel about the weight of ones secrets and the longing to be accepted for who we are. Raw emotion and believable characters made this book an absolute joy to read.

When Jasmine witnesses her mom's boyfriend Simon, making out with her best friend Lacey, her entire world begins to fall apart. Since she's never had a lot of friends and isn't very close with he mom, the secret starts to eat away at her fracturing the few good relationships she has.

Jasmine is a pric
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I know that many people had problems with the way Jasmine was characterized but it really worked for me. The major premise aside, I felt that Jasmine's prickly, too sensitive personality, portrayed very realistically what (and perhaps how) a girl her age would react in the situations she finds herself in. Wow, that was convoluted. What I mean to say is that I didn't find Jasmine offensive, I didn't think she was whiny. She has a reason to feel the way she does and even when she does lash out per ...more
Emily Elizabeth
I struggled to get through this one. I wasn't a big fan of the writing style, and everything seemed stereotypical to me. This book dealt nothing but clichés. I had trouble seeing any connection or chemistry between any of the characters. No one felt fleshed out to me, and the main character seemed extremely immature for her age. I know I wasn't perfect or without angst when I was seventeen, but there was something about Jaz that felt fake to me. I had to keep reminding myself that she was a seni ...more
Reading Teen
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jasmine is bi-racial, born to a 17 year old mother, raised by her very loving grandparents. Jasmine’s father hasn’t had anything to do with her, except for setting up a trust fund for her on the condition she never try to contact him…NICE! This, she feels, sets her apart and she’s never made friends because it was easier to hang with her Grandfather and her guitar.

One night at a party, Jasmine sees something she wishes she hadn’t and it shakes her to the core. Once she decides to tell her Mom wh
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
Gurtler starts this young adult tale of woe with a shocker: what do you do when you know a secret? This is not just a little secret – it’s one that could rock the foundation of your family. What do you do when this secret involves your best friend? The opening scene had me hooked. I was dying to find out what had happened.

She does a great job exploring what it means to be different in a community where everyone is the “same.” Jaz has always felt different (and some of it is her own fault); rais
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
When I figured out I got to review this book for Librarything, I got really excited because the cover is really pretty and it sounded like a great book. Once I started reading it, though, I got a story that I wasn't really expecting. Yes, Jaz was dealing with a huge secret she had to keep from her mom while dealing with her emerging feelings for Jackson, but a large amount of the book dealt with Jaz's difficulty with her race. Jaz's mom was white while her dad was black, so Jaz is biracial but s ...more
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I've heard nothing but good things about Janet Gurtlers novels, and now I know why. I could not put this book down, it grasped me from the very first page and didn't drop me off until the very last word.

Jaz Evans was raised by her grandmother and grandfather. Her Mother was a teen mom and decided that she'd be better off with her parents until she could get her life together. But Jaz's mom never seems to get it together, and Jaz is still living with her grandparents, which is probably for the be
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A Rita Award Finalist, Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Okotoks Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce and a blonde golden retriever named Betty White.

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“You belong, Jaz. You’re a human being. Color isn’t what you are.
It’s just your shade. You’re beautiful. Inside. Where it counts.”
More quotes…