Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teen Reads Week: If I Tell

                                                                      by:  Janet Gurtler
published by:  Source Books
publish date:  October 1, 2011

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?

This book was just ok for me.  Jasmine apparently is the only biracial person in her small town.  She's being raised by her grandmother and the kids at school basically ignore her.  Her only friends are a slutty alcoholic and the school's only openly lesbian student.

From all that you can gather that this is an "issues" book.  Jaz's mother (white) is pregnant with her (black) boyfriend's baby.  Jaz sees the mother's boyfriend kissing her slutty alcoholic best friend at a party the night before she finds out her mother is pregnant.  Jasmine's life gets thrown into all kinds of turmoil, add in a recovering drug addict, bad boy new to town and you have this book.

Personally, I felt like this book weighed too heavily on the race issues, but I'm not black or biracial and I don't know the difficulties that may or may not present.   I can see where it might appeal more to other readers than it did to me. 

I found this book to be teen appropriate.  No sex, no drugs, only a little rock and roll...and that consisted of Neil Diamond of all people.  The was some language but it wasn't pervasive.

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