Book Review | Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 4:30 AM

Format: ARC
Source: Traded
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 13, 2013 
Pages: 273 

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

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 book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.


I have to admit that when I saw the title and the cover for this book, I wasn’t really all that interested in it. Then, I started seeing it all over the blogosphere and of course that piqued my interest. So, I went to Goodreads and read the summary and immediately added it to my wishlist. I’m so glad that I gave this book a chance because it is definitely one of the most interestingly and beautifully written books that I’ve came across.
This book follows the story of Leonard Peacock on his birthday. But, this birthday isn’t the happy occasion that a lot of birthdays are. Instead, Leonard is alone and no one remembers that it’s his birthday. He has his plans for the day all planned out, down to the precise moment of when he will take his own life.
I felt so bad for Leonard, you could feel just how much he was hurting but at the same time, you could see just how much he was hoping that someone would step up and say "Hey, everything is going to be ok, you don’t have to do what you have planned." I kept hoping someone would see the signs and step up and offer the help that Leonard needed.
Overall, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was a very powerful and emotional read and I think the slow unraveling of the story made it that much more powerful. The only thing that I wish would have been different is the ending. I didn’t feel like I got the closure that I needed since it was left pretty open. I know that probably won’t matter to a lot of people, but I’m just the type that needs to know exactly what happens in the end.


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