Saturday, October 8, 2011

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Jasmine "Jaz" is shocked when she finds her best friend Lacey kissing her mom's boyfriend Simon.  So shocked, she isn't sure what the right thing to do is.  She knows she should tell, but her mom has recently announced she's pregnant and Jaz doesn't feel this is the best time.

Jaz's relationship with Lacey though, takes a nosedive.  Lacey has always been free with her affections with the boys, but Jaz can't understand why Lacey couldn't leave Simon alone. Her close relationship with Simon also suffers, she can't stand him and hates the fact he cheated on her mom. 

There's also a new guy at work, Jackson, that Jaz has her eye on.  He is fresh out of rehab and she believes he is dealing drugs, but she still has a crush on him.  But when she finds out he has a girlfriend, her emotions go into high gear.

Through-out her anxiety of  whether to tell her mom what she saw, Jaz deals with the fact she is half-black and half-white.  She's been bullied and insulted her whole life and she is still trying to find out who she is and where she fits in.

With many topics touched upon: teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, racism and more.  Jaz goes through a roller-coaster of emotions, trying to do what's right, but on her terms.  She's a wonderful character, realistic, stubborn and just looking for acceptance.  Well-written, with compelling characters, believable situations and relationships, If I Tell is a wonderful addition to the young adult genre.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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