Friday, October 26, 2012
Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
IF ONLY ...If only I hadn't gone to that party. I never would have seen what I did. Jackson wouldn't have driven me home. I wouldn't have started to fall for a guy just out of reform school. I could go back to pretending everything was normal. I wouldn't be keeping a secret from my mom that could blow our family apart ...
I reread this book last week so I could write a review, and also so I could just read it again. I enjoyed the second time just as much as the first, even though I knew what was going to happen. There were parts of it that I had forgotten since I hadn't read it in awhile, so it was like I was experiencing those parts for the first time. Anyway, this book has a great story and characters.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Jaz is a great protagonist. She has some self-esteem issues, and she struggles with being the only biracial person in her town. She has felt a connection with her mom's boyfriend before, since they are the same race, and she becomes angry when she sees him kissing her friend, Lacey. Throughout the book, she knows this secret, and she doesn't know if she should tell anyone. When she finds out her mom is pregnant with Simon's (the boyfriend) baby, she decides she can't tell her mom then. Later in the book, she doesn't know if she should tell her, and she can never find the right time to bring it up.
Jaz's family are good characters. Her grandma is the one who raised her, along with her grandpa, but he has died before the book starts. Despite the fact that Jaz's mom had her own parents raise Jaz, it is clear that she cares about her daughter. She was too young to raise Jaz when she was born. Jaz has never met her father or anyone on that side of her family.
Her friends are also great characters. Lacey is the girl who kissed Simon, the mom's boyfriend. She realizes that she made a mistake by doing that, and she feels bad about it. She has a lot of issues of her, including a drinking problem. She was drunk when she kissed Simon. Jaz's friend, Ashley, is a great character as well. She wants to help Jaz get over her fear of swimming since she is a swimmer. This is a difficult task for Ashley since Jaz is still scarred by an incident in the pool in elementary school. Jackson is a great character too. He has a delinquent past that involved drug dealing, but he seems like a sweet. They start off as friends and become more.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.