Title: Forgive me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Genre: Young Adult
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.
You may have noticed the lack of words I have used for the genre of this book and that’s because it’s really difficult to talk about its themes without giving away parts of the book. I basically went into this book knowing very little – I knew what was revealed by the blurb and that’s what had sold me on picking the book up, that and I wanted to give Matthew Quick another go after reading The Silver Linings Playbook.
I really loved this book, I really loved that you learnt a lot about Leonard Peacock throughout this whole book, it’s almost like you are going through his journey with him. At first it’s pretty unclear as to why he wants to kill himself and his former best friend, it gets more obvious as the book goes on why he wants to kill himself but the reason for wanting to kill his former best friend is unknown until quite far into the book.
I was devastated by this book, it took me on a rollercoaster ride and it made me feel things that I didn’t know that I could feel. The whole way through this book I just wanted to give poor Leonard a huge hug and after we find out his reasons for his murder-suicide plan, I just want to hug him even more.
He’s an incredibly lovable character and he is incredibly well written, I adore Matthew Quicks writing and the things going through my mind that I thought may be the reason for the murder-suicide were nowhere near the truth. In other words, Matthew Quick did an amazing job of not giving anything away and not making the ending predictable, which I absolutely adored.
In terms of the characters in this book, it makes you very sad when he explains about how he knows these people, why they deserve a goodbye, it shows how lonely he really is and how much he has shut himself out from the rest of the world. I would have to say my favourite character was Walt, the old man who lived next door to Leonard who he would watch old films with, I just adored the two of them together.
I think that if you enjoy books with twists, that keep you guessing and that have slightly darker themes, you would really love this book. So far I love this so much more than The Silver Linings Playbook and I really enjoyed reading it.