Novel Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write this review. My Kindle broke shortly after I finished reading this novel. Then I didn’t right up the review write away, so forgot pretty much what I’d read, how I felt about the work. Luckily, I managed to transfer all my Kindle documents to my laptop. Unfortunately, all my Kindle documents managed to get corrupted, which might explain the broken Kindle… but FORTUNATELY, there’s this cool document called “My Clippings” which is a text file. Apparently that file saves all the annotations from the Kindle. A quick search and I found my notes for If I Tell! So, the blurb:

“It was like watching a train wreck. I wanted to look away but couldn’t take my eyes off them.” 

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 …

My copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley
Available at Barnes & Nobles || The Book Depository

I’m going to start with the cover. Going into this book, I had no idea the girl was interracial (black/white). Now I’m not saying a gal like the one on the cover couldn’t be interracial. However, the description in the book made her seem like she leaned toward the black side of the interracial spectrum. The gal on the cover looks VERY white. I have to say, I’m rather disappointed in the cover art.

If I Tell had a rough start. It began with leaving the reader in the dark. I knew something big had happened, but what exactly, I couldn’t say. I’m one of those folks who believes the reader should know everything the main character knows, so right off the back I was a little apprehensive about this book.

I’m happy to say, the “something big” was revealed rather quickly. My best guess is the author presented the “something big” as a mystery to draw the reader in… a hook. To be honest, if I’d read the sample in the store or online, I wouldn’t have purchased the book. I’m glad I picked it up from NetGalley, because I felt obligated to read a bit further… really give the book a try, because If I Tell was a decent read. Not fabulous, but decent, and I was lucky to receive the opportunity to read and review it.

The main character had me confused at time. She created a lot of unnecessary drama for herself. She boasted about her honesty and keeping the lines of communication open with her mother. However, she kept the “something big” to herself for much of the story. If she had just spilled the beans early she could have saved everyone a lot of grief. Of course, the story would have been over since that was the main conflict. 🙂

As for the plot, it was interesting enough. The MC was faced with a difficult dilemma. I truly felt for her situation. But like I said, she caused more trouble for herself than necessary. There were also quite a few slow moments in the story. The book wasn’t overly long, but it could have used a bit a trimming to really keep me engaged.

What I really liked about If I Tell was Ms. Gutler’s style of writing… the way she was able to use the language in a way which flowed well and was natural sounding.

Over all, If I Tell had an interesting premise. I liked the writing style. Ms. Gurtler did a great job stringing words together. I even liked the storyline. However, the book was a bit slow in the middle, and quite a few scenes seemed like the same but written in different ways. As a result, this was about a 3/5 star read for me.

0 thoughts on “Novel Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

  1. This is the first I have heard of IF I TELL. I do appreciate a writing style that flows well, but I’m just not sure there is enough here to hold my attention. I appreciate the honest review.

    (Sorry to hear about your Kindle.)

  2. One thing nice about authors is they typically improve as they write more. If I tell is one of the author’s early releases. So I image her newer books are much tighter flow-wise.

    I was sorry about my Kindle for months. 🙂 I’ve been building my Nook collection though. Lately, I’ve hardly thought about that broken down eReader.

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