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If I Tell You the Truth
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If I Tell You the Truth

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Told in prose, poetry, and illustration, this heartrending story weaves Kiran’s and Sahaara’s timelines together, showing a teenage Kiran and, later, her high school–aged daughter, Sahaara.

Kiran is a young Punjabi Sikh woman who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted by her fiancé’s brother. When her fiancé and family don’t believe her, she flees her home in India
Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2021 by HarperCollins
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Jasmin This is a full-length companion novel to When You Ask Me Where I'm Going, that finishes the short story of Kiran and her daughter, Sahaara! You can re…moreThis is a full-length companion novel to When You Ask Me Where I'm Going, that finishes the short story of Kiran and her daughter, Sahaara! You can read it without reading When You Ask Me Where I'm Going. But there are some insights from the short story in book one that you may be interested in.(less)
Jasmin Yes! It's a whole novel in poetry and prose that solely follows the journey of Kiran and Sahaara, from the short story in When You Ask Me Where I'm Go…moreYes! It's a whole novel in poetry and prose that solely follows the journey of Kiran and Sahaara, from the short story in When You Ask Me Where I'm Going.(less)

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Sara Jovanovic
2021 why?? 😭
Teenage Reads
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage Girls
Shelves: advance-copy, 2020
*Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, police brutality, immigrant trauma, victim-blaming, domestic violence, alcoholism, depression, anxiety*

Kiran came to Canada to major in biology at Simon Fraser University. As an immigrant from Punjab, Kiran realized that British Columbia is a lot different than her hometown, but at the university orientation, she met Joti, another Punjab immigrant that has been living in Canada for a while and took Kiran under her wing. Kiran had high expectations of her t
Anne Roberts Cass
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mix of poetry, illustrations, and story telling in this novel is flawless. When I requested it, I didnt expect it to be so long, and yet I turned the final page hoping for more.

The author beautifully seamed this collection of mixed media into a story that will rip your heart out repeatedly, and yet leave you feeling.. full.

The mother/daughter dynamic of Sahaara and Kiran was truly authentic, I appreciated how similar they both were while not being a mirrored image of the other. They felt r
Pine Reads Review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Jennings
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book.

I appreciate those times when I simply cannot put a book down and when I reach the end of the book, I wish I knew what happened next in the lives of the characters. This book provided that experience.

This is the story of family, both biological and chosen. The plot spans 20 years in the lives of a Punjabi mother who relocates to Canada, pregnant as the result of an act of violence. She spends years undocumented while her daughter grows up keeping secr
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If I Tell You the Truth by Jasmin Kaur is a powerful, heart wrenching, and all consuming story told in prose, poetry, and illustration.
Kiran flees her home to attend school in Canada followed by trauma. When she attempts to tell her mom about what happened to her, and the results, a pregnancy, she’s rebuffed and decides to take matters into her own hands. She denies her mother’s wishes, an abortion, and with the help of a friend and her friend’s mother raises her daughter in Canada. Over staying
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, feminist
** A copy of If I Tell You the Truth was provided by the publisher and Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review **

Oh my gosh! This is so so sooooo good. It is beautifully written and oh-so powerful. And that cover - can't wait to get my hands on a hardback so it matches with the first. I think I highlighted at least half the book and will definitely keep coming back to some of the poetry. I didn't think it was possible but I honestly think this is better than Jasmin's debut. I can't wait to s
Sarah Hanson
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kaur’s writing is always beautiful and powerful, but the struggles faced throughout this story are very often faced today. The bond of a mother and daughter wavering, the need to push past trauma and be able to communicate where love pushes past fear and anger; the terror of being an undocumented immigrant; knowing how to be an ally of those affected by sexual violence instead of “telling them what best actions are”. The only downside was that the beauty of mixing poetry and chapters together se ...more
Gina Malanga
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful book crosses cultures, continents and decades through poetry, narrative and even drawings. Koran goes to Canada from Punjab to study but the baby in her belly has other plans. Her daughter, conceived in the worst way possible, is the light of her life but without proper papers their life hangs in a delicate balance. This book definitely covers some triggering topics such as rape, sexual harassment, undocumented individuals and mental health but handles them so beautifully and with ...more
(Mellifluous Grant)
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-2020, jasmin-kaur
Thank you another wonderful book.


How Do You Know It’s Real?

does it count if the sparks are different?

if there’s still a ghost of another boy somewhere within you made only of apricot-sweet memories pink juicy no sign of the bruising or the rot?

does it count if you want his lips just like you want to escape from your own flesh?

if his mouth makes you forget yourself and this is how you manage to breathe?

is it love if it makes you feel something just when you thought you’d always be numb?
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. This story was a unique story in its own respect, mixed with a variety of writing styles. The poetry intermingled throughout gave the story an emotional vibration that really fit well with the tone of this devastating story. For me, the story was almost just too heavy. I didn’t read the rape trigger warnings ahead of time and I really should have. I think people who enjoy reading really serious, heavy, and tragi ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely phenomenal and so powerful. I read this as an ARC but I would love to have a physical copy of this book. The author beautifully blends together an important tale about sexual violence, undocumented immigrants, and politics. The story felt real and there were many powerful quotes. I liked the use of narrative, poems, and artwork to tell the story. I also learned a lot about another culture that I was not familiar with. I highly recommend this book.
Tina Athaide
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this collection of prose, illustrations, and story telling, Jasmin Kaur has written a beautiful story that will capture your heart and not let go until that last page is turned. This powerful story dives into difficult issues like rape, undocumented immigrants, identity, acceptance, and family as readers follow Kiran, and her daughter Sahaara, on a twenty-year journey across Canada and India. I would buy this book for classrooms and libraries and make sure it is flagged with a warning about t ...more
Kirandeep Dhaliwal
I am over the moon excited for Jasmin Kaurs second book. Jasmin is an incredibly talented writer who forces you to become an active reader, braiding you into her story. Characters are unforgettable and this journey is heart wrenching. If this is anything like her new book it’s already a winner m💛💛
Patti Sabik
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verse-novel, ya
Powerful and important, this book is a very readable and relatable account of victims of sexual abuse, undocumented immigrants, and finding a voice. Alternating between prose and verse, the reader gains the perspectives of both mother and daughter over a 20 year span. Very well done.
♡ jules ♡
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Immediately hooked from the beginning. Absolutely stunning sophomore novel. ♡
Lonna Pierce
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow in Library Media Connection.
Maya Chhabra
yes yes a Sikh YA! and wow the plot sounds intense and amazing.
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Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator and spoken word artiste living in Vancouver, BC. Her writing, which explores feminism, social empowerment, love and survival, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As an arts facilitator and fourth-grade teacher, Jasmin has been leading creative-writing workshops for young people across North America, the UK, and Australia over the past five years ...more

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