Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from my friend Lena of Addicted 2 Novels
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge, 2012 YA Saves Challenge
ReviewAfter years of abuse from her classmates, and thinking she had no other options, Leslie took her own life. Now her abusers are dealing with the fallout. In the eyes of the accused girls, they are not to blame: Leslie chose to take her life. She chose to be the coward they always knew she was.As criminal proceedings examine the systematic cyber bullying and harassment that occurred, the girls vow to keep their stories straight and make Leslie seem weak. But as the events leading up to her death unfold, it becomes clear that although Leslie took her own life, her bullies took everything else.
I Swear... If there is one word that I find perfectly describes this book, it's intense. Lane Davis managed to make me feel so many different things - anger, disgust, sorrow, hurt, surprise and relief. Any book that can prick my heart to a point where all these crazy emotions come out like a torrent is definitely a strong piece of work.
One of the best things about the this book is that the revelation of the truth takes place in a very gradual manner. Though Leslie's suicide certainly serves as the catalyst, the secrets don't all pour out into one big confession session at the end of the book. Instead, they come out naturally - one by one until nothing is left. I love that the time was taken to focus on each person's personal problems and to help the reader understand what really was behind these people's actions.
Though there are a lot of negative things happening in this book (especially the extreme bullying and the amount of lies), I think that, in the end, there's a positive message to be taken from it. You shouldn't be afraid to be a good person, to be a good friend, to be nicer to other people in general - no matter what other people say is the "better" or "cooler" thing to do. Yes, there may be consequences to choosing to "walk your own way",but they usually just appear to be worse than they actually turn out to be.
Honestly, this book just brings to the forefront the fact that bullying is not just hurtful or mean or wrong, but that it can have serious consequences on the person you pick on. In fact, it can have serious consequences on the person who does the bullying as well, as you can see from the stories shared in this book.
Though it was tough to read, I Swear was certainly worth it. Lane Davis has crafted an interesting, well-told story about bullying and what it can to to both the bullied and the bullies. I'd highly recommend reading this book, but would advise readers to take note that it may not be the easiest thing to read.