Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock — Book Review

leonardpeacock

The Deets

author: Matthew Quick

released: August 13, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover

pages: 288 pages

publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Read: July 19

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, coming-of-age, contemporary, realistic fiction, tough/emotional issues

The Down-low

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was—that I couldn’t stick around—and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out. (From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

A modern day Catcher in the Rye, Matthew Quick captures the complexities of what brings a person to their breaking point.  Rather than show a school shooting, we get to see the mind behind the mask, the lost soul so desperately seeking some form of human interaction.   This emotional-charged and haunting tale proves once again Quick is a master in his craft.  Your heart will break for Leonard Peacock in this poignant novel of bitter despair and hope against all odds.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

I feel like this book is an ode to Holden Caulfield.  In fact, I highly recommend that English teachers read this book and offer it as a response to Catcher in the Rye.  There is so much that I could say about just how much this book affected me.  On the surface, my heart broke deeply for Leonard.  Obviously he had a rough life and we see that from the very beginning of the book.  But beyond that, we get to see Leonard as a broken human being who is desperately trying to form human connections.  Leonard is awkward and deeply troubled, and yet he still wants what everyone has.

We see Leonard go through his birthday craving those connections, giving off a vibe that frightens everyone he comes in contact with.  Leonard’s mind is broken, and as a first person narrator, we get to see that first hand.  When done right, this allows us into the troubled mind of the narrator, able to really truly understand what it is like for him.

As a person who was awkward once (well, still, but I’ve come to terms with my nerdiness), I emotionally connected with Leonard.  And as a parent, I found myself wanting to give him a hug and tell him that he was a person who mattered.  And the other characters that Leonard comes into contact with were so masterfully crafted — the teacher who saw beyond the shell that was this broken boy, the neighbor who taught Leonard to appreciate things like old movie stars, and the absent parents who were so caught up in their own lives they didn’t see the fragile and truly pained child that was right in front of them.

I sat down to read Forgive Me, and did not get back up until I had finished.  The deep emotions that Matthew Quick is able to tap into was frighting.  I spent most of the book in tears.  This is a book I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, or Looking for Alaska and one I won’t soon forget.

Overall

Five point Five Stars

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11 thoughts on “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock — Book Review

  1. Pingback: New Reads Monday — Week of August 12 | Such A Novel Idea

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