FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick

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Summary from Goodreads:

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.

There seems to be something in the air that made me feel really sad lately (maybe it’s the hormones?). After reading Me Before You and After You, I picked up another sad book but at least Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock did not make me cry bucket of tears this time. It was still sad, though, the kind of sadness that makes you question why bad things happen to good people and why the world seems to be so fu**ed up no matter how hard you try.

Leonard Peacock (yes, that’s his real name. And yes, you can just imagine how someone feels having that name) is turning 18 and he wants to kill his (former) best friend and himself on his birthday — with a gun that his grandfather used to kill a Nazi soldier with. But first, he must give presents to the four people that matter in his life. What these presents are and why he wants to do the things he planned to do are gradually revealed as the story progresses.

There is nothing funny about a guy who wants to shoot himself on his birthday. What could be the reason? And why would he want to kill his best friend? Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is deeply emotional and troubling because it deals with relevant issues teens get to face every day. The first person narrative makes the story even more personal and intimate as I delved into Leonard’s thoughts and feelings about his mom, his dad, Asher, and all the other significant people in his life.

I was fascinated with the parts where there were letters sent from the future. They added more spice to the story and they also gave more substance to Leonard’s character. Reading the letters made me want for Leonard to hang on but discovering why he decided to put an end his life also made me understand his despair.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a book that bravely deals with ugly but relevant themes. The main character is someone I can easily identify with and through him, I became even more motivated to be the best parent I can be.

***

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
TFG Bingo 2016: Book With A Name In The Title

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