Who’s to blame when bullying leads to suicide? A gripping exploration of crucial importance seeks answers in and out of the courtroom.
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
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.
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.
I Swear is a great read that displays many emotions very well. It is definitely a serious book, and not a light read. It is told in multiple perspectives in a way that it is easy to tell who is narrating each section.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
This book is told in four POVS - Jillian, Jake, Beth, and Katherine. Each character has their own story, and as the book progresses, their stories and connections to Leslie unfold. Jillian's and Jake's parents were friends with Leslie's parents, and the two families went on vacation together before freshman year. Jillian became friends with Leslie, but then she started to become friends with Macie instead. Jake is Jillian's twin brother, and he was in love with Leslie. He wanted his sister and her friends to stop bullying her, and he wanted Leslie to be his girlfriend. Beth became friends with Leslie at the beginning of high school, and she began to have feelings for her. When Leslie didn't return those feelings, Beth joined Macie's group instead of being friends with her. Katherine joined the school junior year, and she became the class vice-president when Macie was the class president. She competed in many pageants, and she was friends with Leslie for a short period of time.
Macie is one of my least favorite characters that I have ever read about. She is cruel and manipulative. The reason people believe her lies is because she is a good speaker. She is able to convince people to believe what she says. She began bullying and cyber-bullying Leslie because Jake liked Leslie. Macie wanted Jake to like her instead, so she bullied Leslie and had her friends join in. Part of what makes her such an awful character is the fact that she seems to show no remorse. She doesn't blame her bullying for Leslie's death at all. She thinks Leslie was weak and that she herself did nothing wrong.
All of the court proceedings were well done. I don't know much about how the courtroom proceedings work, but I found it easy to follow. The only thing I got confused on was what a subpoena is, so I had to look that up.
If you like heavy YA contemporary, read this book.