Cover image of I SWEAR by Lane Davis

Cover image of I SWEAR by Lane Davis

BOOK JACKET BLURB: Leslie thought she had no other options. After years of abuse from her classmates, Leslie took her own life. Now, her abusers are dealing with the fallout, even though, in their eyes, they are not to blame that she couldn’t handle another day. Leslie chose to take her life. She chose to be the coward they always knew she was. Even as criminal proceedings look into the systematic cyber bullying and harassment, 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 she took her own life, her bullies took everything else.

Told in alternating perspectives and through flashbacks, this timely novel sheds light on the victims of bullying and the consequences bullies face.

First novel by Lane Davis

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012, $16.99
288 pages
ISBN 9780670011285
Also published as e-book
ISBN 9781442435087


Written as a cautionary tale about the devastating effects of bullying, this novel has promise, but it reads too much like a not particularly well-written episode of a CW television show. The story revolves around the suicide of a beautiful high school student, Leslie Gatlin, who is cyberbullied by a group of girls from school. The ringleader, Macie Merrick, is the daughter of an ambitious politician, who wields power almost as well as her father. Each chapter is told in first-person from the perspective of the bullies. Macie’s is the only voice that is not represented. The reader only knows her through the stories the other characters tell. Part of the issue with the book is that the characters are too similar.  Even almost to the end of the novel, I still had to turn back to the beginning of chapters to see whose voice I was reading. The characters are too stereotyped, too constructed. No one reads as believable or interesting.  I’m not at all sure that this is a gay novel.  It has one closeted gay character, a lesbian gymnast, but her story is unresolved at best.



Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2012
Kirkus Reviews, July 18, 2012



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