Monday, May 9, 2016

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick | Review

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health
Pages: 288
Source: Purchased
Find on Goodreads

Goodreads Description
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.

My Thoughts

Going into this book I didn't really know what to expect. I had a general idea of what the story was about and I had seen quite a few good reviews on it. Like I usually am with books that have a lot of good books I was worried that I wouldn't like it. However I'm glad I didn't let that worry stop me from reading this.

The book opens up and the reader is immediately immersed into Leonard Peacock's reality. Already knowing what the main character plans to do, we are let in on his thought process as he starts revealing exactly what he plans to do. During the day we follow Leonard as he starts to put his plan of gifting items to the people he cares about most. Through the interactions with these people and the flashbacks mixed into everything, we start to learn more about Leonard. The truth is, Leonard is just a lonely kid that wants to be noticed and truly cared for. The further along you get into the story you start to understand what the big secret is that Leonard has been carrying and at least partially why his behavior is so strange and why he gets really defensive when certain things are said.

I did have a small problem with the foot notes included in this book. While they did add to the story, they were a bit distracting for me. I felt like they pulled me from the story, especially when they didn't seem to add anything to the story. I felt the same when it came to the letters for a while. When the first came it was so sudden and there was no explanation so I was confused. After the first letter I was more prepared when they came up but I still was pulled from the current story line and it made me question a few things about where the entire story was going. Once I finally found out what the letters were and why they were included I really appreciated them and in their own way, the letters signified hope.

I was equally disappointed and appreciative of the ending. There wasn't enough of a solution for me. I was a little let down that there wasn't a clear shift to healing in certain areas of his life. However, that's why I appreciated it because there is never an immediate solution to a problem, especially after only one day. This is such an important book! I think everyone should at least give it a try.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

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