Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Neglect, Contemporary, Mental Health, Abuse

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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.


Leonard Peacock wants to die.

But before he commits suicide, he wants to kill somebody. Other than himself. His former best friend, Archer, for the harm he has caused him in the past.

Now I don’t want to jinx anything—perhaps I speak too soon, as this is only my second book read by Matthew Quick—but I really do believe that this author is slowly but surely becoming a favourite author of mine.

He just KNOWS how to write a novel. And his imagination has no boundaries. In ‘‘Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock,’’ he has created not only an authentic, believable teenage boy but also a broken young man who will win your compassion and heart in a single chapter.

The truth is, Leonard Peacock does not really want to die. In fact, he clings to life. He hopes someone will give him a reason to stay on this earth. He almost begs them to just give him one reason—just one reason. But he thinks he will never be happy again.

What an emotional story. Do NOT think that this is some kind of mystery, suspense novel. Not at all. While there is suspense regarding whether he will pull the trigger or not, this is very much a book dealing with mental health and abuse, so definitely of the psychological sort.

Matthew Quick writes so perfectly. This is such an atmospheric book—though melancholic. There are moments when I felt confused, moments when I smiled in a sad way, moments when I smiled in a very heartfelt, genuine manner and moments when I downright couldn’t help but tear up a little.

This is not a happy book. And it does not have a clear, closed ending. Many have expressed their disapproval of it. I, for one, was shocked to turn the page and see a blank space staring at me. But I think I know how it ends, deep inside my heart, and sometimes—not always—that enough.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

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