Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4.25 stars
Summary: 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 opinion on the book:
There’s always something about one’s birthday. Leonard decided the special thing about his 18th is that he is going t o kill his ex-best friend and then himself.
That’s how this story begins. Leonard has already decided and now we get to follow him through his last day on earth. He has a complete plan that includes saying goodbye to the important people in his life and to give each one of them a gift (without telling them the truth).
The most wonderful things about this book is the normality on it, like, it’s a regular day (apart of the obvious) and we get to see such deep parts of Leonard’s mind, it’s amazing.
Through the book, we feel his complete loneliness, which feels extremely real. He is no one at school, has no friends, his mother doesn’t care about him much and he has no will of growing up.
The book is by itself a critic to our so boring daily lives, as he tries to understand what awaits him after graduating.
Desperation, loneliness, a very complex and wonderful character. Though we never really know much about the others, we do know what he thinks of them and what he think they think.
At first, i thought the book wouldn’t be able to hold itself by just randomly following one single character that speaks with a few people, but the author really makes it work… now thinking of it, it reminds me of The Catcher In The Rye, though Leonard is way more lovable than Holden…
Leonard’s thoughts aren’t forced nor superficial, at most, you can totally find yourself related to the way he sees the world, i know i did. Everything in the book is so natural, another day in the life of “…”. The book really got me thinking about how we think we see people but we don’t we just have an idea of them and we go with it and that way we miss a lot of relationships we could have.
One of my favorite things about the book was the relationship Leonard has with his WWII history teacher and the way he actually sees Leonard, the interest Leonard had in his teacher, and the talks they had.
I was forgetting to mention that although the book issues some very strong topics (such as the plan Leonard has), it is also written in a funny tone (not the touchy topics, don’t worry!). Still, the book never makes fun of itself.
Overall Leonard is a very interesting character, he has an amazing way of seeing things and the book will leave you with a great feeling when you finish it. Did i cry? yes, i did.
Would i recommend it? Well, of course, with this book you are in for a treat.
‘Til Next Time 😉