I recently picked up four new books from Chapters and read one of them in the span of about three hours (I was hankering for some books and a quick read!) so here is my review of Lane Davis’, I Swear.
I Swear is about a girl named Leslie who decides to take her own life after (what we learn while reading) relentless bullying throughout high school by a popular girl named Macie and most of her friends; Katherine, Beth, and Jillian. The book follows the course of the aftermath of Leslie’s suicide in which each chapter is from the point of view of a different character; either Katherine, Beth, Jillian (all former frenemies of Leslie), and Jake (Jillian’s twin brother and Leslie’s closest friend).
While much of the book revolves around what happened to Leslie, a large part of each character’s chapter is the hold that the character Macie has over each of them. She was the ring leader in everything and manipulated everyone around her, so it was interesting to read from each character’s POV to see who exactly was friends with her and why.
I enjoyed the fact that even after Leslie’s death and after the girls knew that they probably had a hand in her suicide with their manipulation and scheming, they were ready to turn on each other if given the chance. This helps to show the idea of a dog-eat-dog world, one so rampant in high school and “girl cliques”.
It did get confusing to read from every character’s POV, even if Davis labelled whose chapter it was. Half the time I would be reading, and then have to to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to realize who I was reading about.
I gave the book a 4/5 on GoodReads, and I would have given it a full 5 if it hadn’t been for the ending. Up until the last three pages, it had been going along pretty smoothly, but I felt that there wasn’t enough justice served to the antagonist in the novel. As well, suddenly the story flipped at the last second to be about one particular character’s path to her destiny and it kind of just threw me for a loop.
Aside from that, the book is a decent read. It shows the hard times and heartaches of (cyber)bullying with teenage girls (to an extreme but nonetheless) as well as what it means to truly be a friend in the very end. It’s a pretty easy read too, but you might need to grab your tissues if you’re as emotional as I am.