I'm thrilled when I get to spotlight a book by a writer-friend of mine. Even more so when I've already had a chance to read the book and have loved it. Janet Gurtler's IF I TELL is such a book!
Here's the synopsis 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?
And Janet, one of our fellow Contemps Bloggers, stopped by to answer a few quick interview questions:
1. What do you love most about contemporary fiction?
am by nature a realist. I’ve been called a, ‘Tell it like it is
person’ and I guess it’s true. I don’t like to pretend that things are
always wonderful. I guess I don’t own a pair of rose colored glasses.
Or if I did, I must have stepped on them and cracked them a little.
that, it’s kind of natural I would be drawn to realistic fiction. I
love stories that dig deep into emotions and characters and make me face
truisms about the human condition, mine as well as others. Not that
other forms of fiction can’t do that as well, but to me contemporary
fiction does it the best! Especially edgy, dark contemporary fiction,
2. How much (if anything ) in your novels comes from real-life situations or things you've personally witnessed?
lots of real life “stuff” in my books but most of it is heavily
fictionalized. Clear as a steaming bowl of morning porridge? I think I
borrow from my own experiences as well as from people around me when
I’m writing characters and scenes but the situations my characters find
themselves in are made up. Like most authors though, I’m kind of a
conversation sponge and most things that I hear, or see, or even feel on
a day to day basis are filed somewhere in my brain for possible use
later in books. I do know when to draw lines though so my loved ones
and friends don’t have to live in constant fear.
3. What's the last contemporary YA that you read and loved?
am a binge reader. That is my confession of the day. When I am deep in
first draft writing mode (as I am right now while I write my third
Sourcebook novel) I tend to read less of what I write and less in
general. That said, the last contemporary YA I read and loved was WHY WE
BROKE UP by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snickett). Very unique and
loveable, quite a bit lighter than my usual contemporary loves.
thanks, Janet! If you're looking for a book that will keep you turning pages
(and that you might -ahem- read in less than a day) IF I TELL is that
book. Janet Gurtler gets her characters to say all the things we wish we
could say and keeps her books ramped up with conflict. If you
haven't read her first Sourcebooks Fire release, I'M NOT HER, why not
pick them both up together (since they look so beautiful together!)
Buy IF I TELL through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore.
Add it on GoodReads.
And help make contemporary YA more visible by suggesting it for purchase at your local library.