Wednesday, September 7, 2011


If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire
Paperback  256 Pages
Expected release date October 1, 2011

I received this book from Net Galley. No compensation was offered or received. A review while appreciated was not mandatory.

Jasmine Evans was born to high schoolers - the princess and the football player. He has his life mapped out with dreams of football and she doesn't have plans to raise a child in hers. So Jaz is lovingly raised by her grandparents, with visits to and from her mother. Jaz is pretty much a loner after being harassed, (and nearly drowning), by her fourth grade classmates, who weren't very accepting of her skin color. Not being accepted by either white or black kids she has had one best friend Lacey and a slightly newer friend Ashley. Lacey is a few years older and the "bad girl" while Ashley is a lesbian. While working at a coffee shop Jaz meets "bad boy" Jackson. Things are not great but not too bad when one night at a party Jaz walks in and sees Lacey kissing her mother's boyfriend. Feeling betrayed by her best friend and the man she considered a step father figure, she is determined to tell her mother. But unknown to her, Jaz's mother has news too - she is pregnant.

This book tackles many issues that could muddy the story or fail it completely. Janet Gurtler, however, writes a beautiful, gripping novel. She handles each issue sensitively. The writing is such a caliber that you are able to feel what Jaz is going through. You are drawn in from the start and, if you are like me, take sides right off. I was confused and indignant when Jaz's mother told Jaz she was pregnant and wanted Jaz to be happy for her. How could she ignore the fact that she did not raise Jaz? I was mad at her mother through much of the book. The issue of being biracial and being raised in a white home was handled intelligently. Jaz's feelings of not knowing very much of her father, his family and being black were explored. (There is a flip side to this but you can read it to find out.) The book makes you think about how far we have come, (or in some areas, not come), in acceptance of various races and mixed races in particular. A lot of value is placed on honesty and being open with those we care about. The consequences that are written in are natural and not watered down. The book has a very real feel to it. Reading it I felt the see-saw emotions that Jaz was going through and I was as confused as she was whether to tell or not.  If you are looking for an excellent YA novel that does not back away or play down issues, misconceptions, deceptions or consequences this is a book I would highly recommend.  I would also recommend it to YA reading groups, and mother-daughter teams. There is a lot of material in this book that would make awesome discussions.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading? 
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
Just Finished Reading:
 My Haunted Family: Engrossing tales of one family's encounters with the unknown The Caretakers  Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers
Currently reading (finishing up):

  Pirates of Savannah: The Birth of Freedom in the Low Country  Drink, Slay, Love

Just Started:   
Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel  Confessions of a Call Center Gal

What's Next? Well since my Kindle died and I had to wait for the new one I am behind. :( I got the new one though so I should catch up. Amazon customer service is awesome!
Lord of Rage (Royal House of Shadows, #2) The Apothecary  The Shifters of 2040 (Shifter Evolutions, #3) 1225 Christmas Tree Lane (Cedar Cove, #12)
This is the part that my family had better pay attention to! Yes, those of you that I carried for nine months and then raised for 18 years. And the special guy who needs to pay double attention because the dog cannot pick out anything.

Just Tacos: 100 Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story Part Wild: One Woman's Extraordinary Love for a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs  Extreme Paranormal Investigations: The Blood Farm Horror, the Legend of Primrose Road, and Other Disturbing Hauntings Ghost Hunting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Death by Killer Mop Doll (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)  Pieces of Us  Silver Sparks
Just Tacos by Shelley Wiseman,  and Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story by Kimberly "Momma" Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero, ( both out October 2011) . I know I do not need to tell you who will benefit from these two. * To everyone else there are reviews for these two cook books coming up next week.*

Part Wild: One Woman's Extraordinary Love for a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs by Ceiridwen Terrill, ( out October 2011). This book sounds fascinating and I love both wolves and dogs. 

Extreme Paranormal Investigations by Marcus F. Griffin, ( out October 2011). I love ghost stories. These are located in the Midwest. The book sounds awesome. I found this on Llewellyn Worldwide

Ghost Hunting for Beginners: Everything You Need To Know To Get Started by Rich Newman, (out October 2011).  Doesn't even need an explanation. Just says FUN. Another Llewellyn find.

Death by a Killer Mop Doll by Lois Winston, (out January 2012). Another book that just says FUN to me. *Children that I bore in pain, this book does contain instructions on how to make  Themed Mop Dolls - don't let that frighten you. Remember if I have a happy Christmas your New Year will be happy. * Llewellyn

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser, (out March 2012). This book sounds so intriguing! 

Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose, (out November 2011). I will need a light romantic suspense to get me through the holiday stress.

I hope you find something interesting and/or just had a chuckle or two today. Check out the book If I Tell - it really is a good read. Look for the other reviews soon. Please leave me a comment so we can stalk, err,  check you out and see what your reading or waiting on. 


Rebecca said...

I'm about to start Drink Slay Love. Do you like it?

Janet Gurtler said...

I love this review of IF I TELL! I am really hoping it resonates with moms as well as their daughters, so thank you so much!!

sidne@reading rendezvous said...

I must put If I Could Tell on my reading list. ok, don't fall out, i almost cried. lol. your book has been returned to the author for unknown address. I was contacted yesterday. please email again so she can get it off. So sorry!!

Frances said...

Rebecca I liked it. It was different from the ones I read. Thanks for stopping by - heading over to you.

Janet, Thank you so much for coming by! I was so surprised! I am happy you liked the review. Your book is really good. I usually flip in and out of books I am reading, going from one to the other, (I normally have 3-4 books going at once). When I started yours I was so drawn in I didn't put it down until I finished it. Awesome job! Thanks for coming by to read my review and leave a comment.

Frances said...

Sidne Oh no! I will get back to you now. Thanks for letting me know. I think you will like If I Tell. It was really good.

Jennifer G. said...

LOL Cristina! Love the hints to the kids there. Great review too, I might have to look into this one. :D

Book Sake said...

Silver Sparks does sound good for some stress-free time during the holidays!

Frances said...

Thanks for stopping by. Jenn I have to start early and keep giving them choices or they throw something strange at me. LOL
BookSake doesn't sound like it will just take you away for a few hours of stress-free entertainment?

Unknown said...

Lots of book goodness! I hope you enjoy all of them. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for stopping by The Bookish Babes.

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Drink Slay Love sounds SO SO awesome/cute/great. :D


Menopausal New Mom said...

Thanks for finding me today, I'm here to follow you back. As a mom to a 5 year old who has just started kindergarten, I'm hoping to get back into reading. I finally have a few hours to myself each day. I started with the Outlander. What a fabulous series!!

Happy Thursday!

Tania B said...

Great book blog. Love it. Hello! I am a new follower from the Thursday Friends Cafe Blog Hop. Please feel free to follow me back at Horseshoes and stop by anytime!


Grandma Bonnie said...

Very different book not something I would pick to read myself. Now I think I just might read this. Thanks for the review. New follower from Thursdays Friend's Cafe. Hope you stop by and follow back. Have a great week.

MMAR said...

Thanks for linking up with TFC : ) My nephew has autism and you are very right they look like everyone else!!

Allison said...

IF I TELL sounds really interesting- a good pick for those teens who like realistic fiction. There's so much paranormal right now, sometimes I feel like the teens who prefer realistic stories don't know where to look. I'll be sure to recommend this one!

Reading Everywhere

caite said...

I have If I Tell on the way...really looking forward to it now!

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