Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Read By: Noah Galvin
Length: 6 hours and 19 minutes
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.
Books have left me utterly speechless before, but never like this, and books have broken my heart before, but never like this. This isn’t going to be a long post, because it hurts my heart to keep thinking about this book, but also because I don’t want to say too much. Overall, Leonard and his story shed light on the horrors that exist in life, and how those horrors can impact young, impressionable lives. More and more, it seems that horrible things are all around (terror attacks, police brutality, senseless killings…), and its effing TERRIFYING. When did the world because this petrifying, awful place?
Anyways, this book did not help me feel any better (hah). If anything, it actually made me feel worse, because teenagers and younger people are impacted so differently by things, and it was incredibly eye opening to think about. PLUS, they’re dealing with even more than the rest of us in some cases! Bullying, self-image, teen suicide; it’s overwhelming enough to just think about, let alone deal with. Children and teenagers should get to be children and teenagers. They should get to be carefree, and live happy lives with no worries. It is so damn heartbreaking that in this day and age, that can almost never happen. There is so much shit that they are wading through, so much senseless harassment and violence that they have to deal with. Of course they’re going to break, of course they’re going to be sad and need help. I don’t have any nieces, nephews, or children, but this book made me really nervous for when I do.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is gut wrenchingly raw, terrifyingly real, and shockingly eye opening. It’s a must read for a lot of people, just to give them some perspective.
I’d be really anxious to hear what you thought about the ending of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. If you can speak to it in a non-spoily way, of course!