Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
First published by in January 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Tags: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N
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 look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
You ever feel like you’re sending out a light but no one sees it?
First off, the name Leonard Peacock is amazing. Second, this book is amazing. I’ve wanted to read it ever since the first time I read the synopsis, and when I found it at the library I just had to bring it home.
I inhaled it in one sitting. Wow. This is exactly the kind of book I love to read. As someone who loves to read about dark, twisted, and dangerous people, especially teens, this was perfect for me. Poor, poor Leonard. Someone give him a hug and a good psychiatrist. The way he so desperately wanted to be saved broke my heart.
So we know from the beginning what Leonard’s plan is. He wants to kill Asher, his former best friend, and then himself. Why? We’ll find out. I admit I figured out why way before it was revealed, but it didn’t take anything away from the story.
This book takes place during the course of one single day, the day he plans to commit his crime. It’s Leonard’s birthday. He hasn’t gotten any presents, but he has a present for each person he wants to say goodbye to. But just because they had an impact on his life, doesn’t mean he means anything to them…
This is not a feel-good book, but if you’ve gotten this far in the review then you know that. It’s rather heavy and depressing, but so so good. Leonard might be hard to like; he’s moody, depressing, and a bit creepy when it comes to girls. But hey, I thought he was one of the more realistic characters I’ve read. I could envision him so clearly.
The book handles all of these various heavy topics well and easily has one of the worst and most frustrating mothers I’ve read in a while. She doesn’t notice, or maybe pretends not to notice, her son’s suffering and depression, which is an all too common problem.
This is a book that really gets to you. It gets under your skin and stays there. It might be one of my favorites. I’ll remember Leonard for a long time.
Have you read this book? Tell me what you think!