A huge Thank-You to Pantera Press via Netgalley, for allowing me to read If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman, in exchange for an honest review.
Homophobia, Abuse, Death
Seventeen-year-old Alex Summers lives with a secret and the constant fear someone will find out. But when a new family moves to town, they bring with them their teenage daughter Phoenix Stone. When Alex falls for Phoenix, there is no warning. In a small town with small minds, girls don’t go out with other girls, even if they want to.
In fear there is bravery – you can either cling to the edge or have the courage to jump. But what do you do when you’re left spiralling through the freefall?
Publication Date: March 01, 2018.
What I expected from If I Tell You, was a light, but still kind of heavy WLW story. If I Tell You…is, in fact a really heavy book. There’s a lot that the main character; Alex, goes through. First, she realizes that she’s a lesbian at a young age, and thus closeted herself for many, many years.
There are two things that I don’t like about this story: that Alex’s love interest dies at the end, and the homophobia that takes place throughout the book.
If I Tell You was a read where I thought I knew the outcome, since the synopsis spoils the ending anyway. However, what I got was an ending that was what was expected but so much more.
If I Tell You is told from only one point of view. Which I was very happy to read from, since the main character; Alex, goes through a lot of character development. We see Alex go through so much in one short novel. At first Alex is akin to a mouse, in my opinion. Alex was so, so closeted in the beginning. We see her anxiety and unspoken fears of if-and-when anyone would find out.
The pace of If I Tell You is incredibly fast, I feel like I read this book in just a few short hours. I was worried since my e-copy was only about 218 pages. In those 218 pages though, we see Alex fall in love, overcome some fears of hers, as well as live and deal with quite a bit of homophobia.
Alex’s life isn’t an easy one, that’s for sure. She lives in a small town (in what I think is somewhere in Australia), where everyone knows everyone. And when someone new movies into town, they’re ridiculed for the smallest things. Being gay in such a small town though, is unacceptable for them.
If you were to ask me about the book(s) that pull my heart strings the most, as of now I’d say If I Tell You is one of those books for me. Not only is the ending of If I Tell You one of the more heartbreaking thing I’ve read in a while, but there are moments throughout the book where I had to stop reading and walk away from the story for a minute. Quite a few of those moments were homophobic scenes. Some of those homophobic scenes involved Alex’s mother, which I honestly wanted to slap some sense into her mother.
One of the moments that stick out to me is a scene that involves both Alex and her dad. Her dad is an all-around great guy and he dearly loves his daughter. But the moment that I’m thinking of is just heartbreaking. I’m glad that Alex stuck up for herself though, and I’m glad that after that, Alex’s dad was there for her.
While I knew beforehand how the ending of this book would go, what actually happened is that I got my heart ripped out. Yep! I was legitimately ugly-crying, bawling my eyes out tears. I was a mess. The ending to If I Tell You was everything I expected and more. It was beautiful.
If I Tell You brought so many #feels to the forefront. There’s so much that happens in this book, I cannot even begin to begin what I want to talk about just because there’s so much. Even after a week of finishing this book, I am still processing everything. If I think about Alex’s story in detail I start to tear up. If I Tell You has completely ruined me in the best way possible.
I give If I Tell You 5 stars.
What was the last book that made you ugly cry? — Thank you for stopping by!
Happy Reading, friends!