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.

Sunday Showcase #21

Another week hanging at the NetGalley has brought me a few reads. 🙂 Thank you NetGalley for creating such an awesome system… and special thanks to all the publishers offering the goodies.

If I Tell by Janet GurtlerJasmine 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?

Why I Picked It Up: Normally, contemporary works aren’t my thing. The title sort of pulled me in on this one. It reminded me of Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala. I know… silly reason, but it got my interest. I’m really hopeful about this work. I don’t have anything against contemporary. It’s just mundania has never really called to me as unique. I know I miss out on a lot of fantastic works because I’ve constantly got my eye out for paranormal goodies. It’s time for me to get a taste of realistic drama. 🙂

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Lilly's Wedding Quilt by Kelly LongShe isn’t looking for love. He’s mending a broken heart. It will take divine intervention for these two to get together.

Local Amish schoolteacher Lilly Lapp is tired of weddings, afraid of horses, and immersed in caring for her depressed mother. But when Jacob Wyse, a handsome horse breeder from her small community rescues her from a dangerous accident, Lilly discovers a renewed interest in life and the possibility of love.

Yet Jacob has lost the one true love of his life to another man and doesn’t care to expose himself to the vulnerabilities of loving again.

God works to bring this unlikely pair into a sweet romance to produce a pattern of faith, which leads to the creation and comfort of Lilly’s Wedding Quilt.

Why I Picked It Up: Simply put, I’ve become addicted to Amish romances. There’s just something about reading about a group of people who are so far removed from the materialistic rat race.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Practical Jean by Trevor ColeJean Vale Horemarsh is an ordinary, small-town woman with the usual challenges of middle age. She’s content, mostly, with the life she’s built: a semi-successful career as a ceramics artist, a close collection of women friends (if you ignore the terrible falling out she had with Cheryl all those years ago), a comfortable marriage with a kind if otherwise unextraordinary man. And then Jean sees her mother go through the final devastating months of cancer, and realizes that her fondest wish is to protect her dearest friends from the indignities of aging and illness. That’s when she decides to kill them . . .

Why I Picked It Up: Now Chicklit typically isn’t my thing, and I’m pretty sure this is what this is. The premises is just so out there, I had to check it out.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

So this was a unique week of requests (other than Lilly’s Wedding Quilt) for me. Have you stepped out of your normal reading habit recently? How did you fare?