December 08, 2020

#BookReview: If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett

Synopsis: A boy recently released from jail and the daughter of a prosecutor fall for each other against the odds in this YA novel.

Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.

To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.

As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
My Review: This second chance story is one that reminded me of Step Up.  This was a great tale that to start out it was a little slow.  It did pick up and was worth the read but I think this one would be better to grab from the library.  

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Tessa comes home to find a group of teenagers trashing her father's garage. When she falls while trying to scare them off, one of them, Corey, stops running away to make sure she's okay, and returns the next day to attempt to make amends. He's just out of jail and wants to leave his old life behind, but to keep his mother and brother safe, must continue to follow orders. But that doesn't mean he can't try to undo some of the harm the gang inflicted. Apologizing to Tessa and her father is the first step, and Corey also offers to do community service and odd jobs around Tessa's home. But the more he works with Tessa, the closer they get. Tessa has a secret, and it seems as if helping Corey work through his guilt may assuage her own, but they both have pasts. The more things heat up between the teens, the more the past will come to haunt them. The mysteries behind Tessa's secret and what Corey's gang is really up to will keep readers engaged, but the characterizations are what sell this novel. Pickett portrays how Tessa's guilt affects all aspects of her life, and how Corey's drive to be better than his past and do what's right for his family is clear in every decision he makes. VERDICT This fast-paced novel is recommended for libraries where YA romance is popular. —Amanda Toth, Lane Libraries, Hamilton, OH


"The mysteries behind Tessa’s secret and what Corey’s gang is really up to will keep readers engaged, but the characterizations are what sell this novel...This fast-paced novel is recommended for libraries where YA romance is popular." 
School Library Journal

Praise for Chase the Night, from our Swoon Readers: 

“This is an awesome story.” ―Emily Hollman

“I enjoyed the backstories of each character and the fact that Corey is a bad kid, but is trying to redeem himself and is caught in a tough place. So far it's reminding me a bit of the Fast and Furious movies.” ―Tara Tsai

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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