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

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  45 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
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Kindle Edition
Published January 19th 2021
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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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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  128 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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Tabatha (tab.talks.books)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
I struggled with rating this book. I always feel books that touch upon highly sensitive topics need to be 5⭐️ because, though I’ve never (thankfully) experienced these things I know many people who have and it changed their lives immensely.
This book has many trigger warnings, which the author dedicates a page of listing them to warn the reader prior to jumping in.
This book is half novel half poetry and it is really amazing. I love the set up and it breaks up some of the heavier topics.
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The Nerd Daily
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray

Just over a year after her debut novel, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going, captivated readers, Jasmin Kaur is releasing her sophomore work, If I Tell You the Truth. With a similarly unique format, Kaur weaves together prose, poetry, and illustrations to bring readers back to the lives of the characters from her first book, while also expanding the bounds of their world and of her storytelling.

If I Tell You the Truth is the powerful tal
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Fanna
An emotional story soaked in truth and told through a mix of prose and poetry, it brings forward the highly realistic yet under-explored experiences of immigration, the underlying horror of every day while the fear of deportation is a sword dangling above one's neck, the unneeded gender-restricted expectations set for a daughter by her family, the happiness of bringing a new life to this world being drenched in the pain of being assaulted, the trauma that transcends generation, and the overall b ...more
Sara Jovanovic
2021 why?? 😭
Shivani
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book has left me utterly speechless. I know that this work will sit with me for a lifetime. As a 2nd generation South Asian immigrant there were many things in this book that hit extremely close to home, especially in the aspect of family relationships and friendships. I felt deeply connected to each of the people in this collection and my heart both ached and was so proud reading the words on every page. This book should be one every single person needs to read in their life. It talks ...more
Kay
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a read that will stay with me
Teenage Reads
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage Girls
Shelves: advance-copy, 2020
Plot:
*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
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Hailey Hamm
If I Tell You The Truth Is One Of The Best Books I Have Read
I Love Jasmin Kaurś Writing It Hit Close To Home And Broke Me And I Loved This Book
Shazia Khan
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"But i couldn't yet explain this cocktail of everything i felt:
two teaspoons of hope
three tablespoons of fear
six dashes of sadness
and a monsoon of alone" - Jasmin Kaur.

There is no easy way to review this stunning novel written in poetry, prose and illustration. All I can really say is this book feels like a labor of love. You can tell the author wrote this book with so much care and dedication. Reading this book is such an immersive experience. It brings me so much joy to see more brown authors
...more
Jennifer
Recommended: yup
For an intersectional story, for a well done blend of poetry and prose, for a fictional-but-way-too-real look at how sexual assault affects not only the person attacked but so many others around them

Thoughts:
I didn't expect this to begin with Kiran as a kiddo, but that's just what happened. What we get is a quite robust look at a life, from young Kiran to young adult Kiran to older Kiran as a mother. It switches to her daughter, Sahaara, as she grows up as well. I particularly lo
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˗ˏˋ maddie ˊˎ˗
this book was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. every single word throughout felt like it was chosen with such care, keeping to a steady and burbling current that sometimes swirled in my chest, sometimes overwhelmed me, and sometimes calmly carried me along.

truly this should be five stars - it is a five star read - there's just one thing, particular to me, that weighed me down with disappointment. it perpetuates the idea that a straight man and a straight woman cannot be friends, or rather, canno
...more
Jade Melody
**Trigger Warnings:(view spoiler)

This book was intense and it was a lot to take in. I read this book in a little bit over 24 hours so all of its contents are swirling around in my head, but it was so captivating that I had to keep going.

I'm not going to describe it great detail what this about, because it will be triggering to some people, but the story told
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tayaberryz
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hailey Hartman
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realistically, this book deserves five stars, but I did not care for the sections of prose. This book dealt with many heavy topics in a way that many similar books don't-- it did it well. I honestly enjoyed this book, but it was very heavy at all times. ...more
Shauna (library_of_your_dreams)
This is the kind of book that you know, even when you’re only halfway through, will stay with you for years to come.
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
...more
Pine Reads Review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirin
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In many ways I'm still feeling this book, and I imagine I will be for some time to come. It is quite remarkable how a book that spans a large breadth of time, and in many ways brushes over key plot points is still consuming me in such a raw and heavy way. The mix of verse, prose, screenshots and drawings, make the book read like a biography and I feel like the characters are not only real, but that I would recognize them if we bumped in to each other in the street. I couldn't put the book down, ...more
Sam
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few trigger warnings (which the author very helpfully lists ahead of the story): sexual assault, police brutality, immigrant trauma, victim-blaming, domestic violence, alcoholism, depression, and anxiety.

This is truly one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. It is told in poetry and prose, which works perfectly. The physical copies also have illustrations. I downloaded the audiobook because I was intrigued by the format and beautiful cover. I came away with a book that is going to sta
...more
Heather Jennings
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
...more
Krys
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Beth Anne
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fantastic, multifaceted exploration of immigration, gender-based violence, cultures, coming of age, and the will to thrive. I loved the portrayal of the characters' strengthens and vulnerabilities. The incorporation of both Canadian customs and Punjabi culture provided a rich context for the story.

I did think the pace of the book was a bit off at times with parts of the book either dragged or skipped quickly but, overall, this book provided interesting perspectives into the lives
...more
Elwira
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"To be an effective ally to survivors of sexual assault, you need to be prepared to listen more than you speak"

A raw representation of the hardships associated with immigration and of a teenage mother raising a child with the looming threat of deportation.The book deals with many other heavy subjects (which the author dedicates the first page to) such as rape and the harsh reality where women are often ignored and blamed. Despite this, there are moments of solace to be found interwoven throughou
...more
Nursebookie
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booktour, booksparks
𝘪𝘧 𝘪 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩⁣
𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪’𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘶𝘨⁣
𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘩𝘴⁣
𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘯𝘦𝘭-𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘵⁣
𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴⁣
𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘦?⁣
𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘦?⁣

This book was beautifully told through alternating texts of prose, poetry, verses, and illustrations. The harrowing story of Kiran who flees Punjab to Canada after a sexual assault leaves her pregnant was heartbreaking. More powerful is how her daughter Sahaara after learning the truth of her mothers’ past will do anything to p
...more
Tracey
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dipali
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
...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
Sarah Hanson
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chrystal
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
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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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