Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Title: If I Tell
Author: Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: October 1, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher
Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary via Goodreads:

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure… people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight 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. Until she sees her mom’s new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

I’ve heard amazing things about the author, Janet Gurtler. About how beautiful and almost poetic her writing is and how she can easily make the readers feel her characters’ feelings.

If I Tell is the first Janet Gurtler book I’ve read. The story revolves primarily on Jasmine Evans or Jaz, who is a 17 year-old biracial, struggling to fit in and keeping her secret which if she spill, it could possibly ruin her family. While the main theme of the story is about discrimination and racism, I was surprised that as I go along with the story, Gurtler tackle other serious themes as well and she blended these touchy subjects very well and came up with a wholly authentic, touching yet not overly dramatic story.

I have to admit, though, that I find Jasmine quite annoying especially when she jumps to conclusions. There are times where I just want to take her by the arms and just shake her until she wakes up. But then again, she’s going through a lot and they’re quite heavy for a 17 year old and she’s carrying them all by herself. Thankfully, she’s got good heads on her shoulders like Ashley and Jackson. Seriously, they are my favorite characters in the story. Ashley is the type of friend I would want. She’s very unique, so honest and she’ll tell Jasmine if she does something stupid. While Jackson comes off as the “Bad boy” or the “Juvie kid” he’s actually got a soft spot in him and the kind of guy who makes you feel special and yes, he’s on my top 10 literary crush!

If I Tell was written beautifully, it felt almost personal and the characters are well-written as well that caused some of my emotions to burst out. I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend this to YA Contemporary readers who wants another book to make them actually feel for the characters, If I Tell is the book for you!

I received this ARC free of charge from publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion on the book.


  1. Stephanie (

    October 28, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    This definitely sounds like a standout in the contemporary genre. Plus, I am all over it if Jackson is in your top ten, haha. Great review! 🙂

  2. Mia

    October 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Thanks, Stephanie 🙂

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