IF I TELL
Gurtler handles complex issues of race, identity, friendship and fidelity with laugh-out-loud humor and engaging frankness. Readers may not be drawn in by the summary, but once you’re in you won’t regret it; it’s unexpectedly good.
At a party one night 17-year-old Jaz catches her mother’s boyfriend kissing her drunk best friend. Furious with both of them she goes to tell her mom — who announces that she’s pregnant. Confused, Jaz turns to her music and withdraws from her family and friends. Working at the coffee shop keeps her busy, but cute new guy Jackson won’t let her be. Shy Jaz isn’t interested in the bad boy, but he’s determined to get through to her. (SOURCEBOOKS, October, 256 pp., $9.99, ISBN: 9781402261039, 12 & Up)