Review: I Swear by Lane Davis
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Received from: Pittsburgh Library System
From Goodreads: Who’s to blame when bullying leads to suicide? A gripping exploration of crucial importance seeks answers in and out of the courtroom.After years of abuse from her classmates, Leslie Gatlin decided she had no other options and took her own life. Now her abusers are dealing with the fallout.
When Leslie's parents file a wrongful death lawsuit against their daughter's tormenters, the proceedings uncover the systematic cyber bullying and harassment that occurred. The ringleader of the accused girls, Macie, maintains they are innocent. In her mind, Leslie chose be the coward they always knew she was.
Jillian, Katherine, and Beth try to keep their stories straight and shift the blame, as Jake, Leslie's only true friend, tries to make sense of what happened. As the events leading up to her death unfold, it becomes clear that Leslie may have taken her own life, but her bullies took everything else.
Told in alternating perspectives and through well-paced flashbacks, this timely novel sheds light on both the victims of bullying and the consequences bullies face.
One of the things that I love most in a novel is intensity, and let me tell you, this book brought that. I Swear was an extreme look into the lives of people who bully and show that, maybe, some sympathy is required for them. This novel explores in-depth into what people will do to prove that they belong, inadvertently hurting somebody else. There is a difference between the people who realize that they've done something wrong and the people who realize the same thing, but really don't care. This novel did a very good job at shining a light onto that.
Davis's writing is extraordinary and the task of switching between five different narrators could not have been an easy one, but she did it amazingly well. Her character's voices were so formed that I didn't get confused about who was narrating at any point in the book. I Swear was also an incredibly real and believable novel, which made it that much better. The characters were lovable, even when you may want to hate them for how they treated Leslie. Davis made it difficult to hate anyone, besides a select few, showing that there are always ways to sympathize, even when someone's made a mistake.
I loved this book! The only reason I wanted it to end was so that I could be shown exactly what happened, which Davis was playing with from the very first page. This is kind of book that you can easily dive into. It's not easy to put this book down, but if you must, it sucks you back in quickly.
I Swear is full of gut-wrenching curiosity that will keep you reading until the very last page. It is a 2012 debut and definitely one to be given a try. Lane Davis is now an author on my Don't Miss This Author list. I can't wait to see what she writes about next!