Monday, 4 June 2012

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

(image and summary from goodreads)

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a one night 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?

My thoughts:
For some reason, the main character in this story resonated with me. No, I'm not biracial like she was, nor am I dealing with insecurities due to my heritage like she is. But I understand her need to rely only on herself and to turn inward in times of trouble, as well as find it difficult to accept help from others. While she did come across as annoying from time to time, I had to remind myself that she was a teenager, and like all others, is still on a process of self discovery. There were some great supporting characters as well, namely Ashley (the one who never gives up), Jackson (the new swoon-worthy bad boy) and even Lacey (she may have her faults, but we get an insight into why she acts the way she does). 

One other point to highlight is the element of racial prejudice. Cross culture marriages are becoming increasingly common, and it was interesting to note how not everyone is open to the idea, though by the look of it, they are quietly embarased about their behavior (if one makes a comment and does not want to repeat it out loud, I take this to mean he/she is embarassed about said comment-cue nurse in the hospital). 

This book is by no means perfect, but it is right up there with some of the good ones I've read. 
Janet Gurtler is one to watch, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.

1. A lead character you can emphathize with.
2. Interesting suporting characters, with their individual back stories.
3. An insight into postpartum depression - in my opinion, a highly dangerous and underpublicized medical condition.
4. A slow blossoming romance - none of that I-knew-you-were-the-one-for-me-the-second-I-saw-you nonsense. 

1. Slightly rushed towards the end.

(eARC courtesy of NetGalley)

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