Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publication date: 16 January 2014
Length: 273 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository
In a nutshell
Leonard Peacock is turning 18. And he wants to say goodbye.
Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific. Nor to his mum who’s moved out and left him to fend for himself. But to his four friends.
A Humprey Bogart-obsessed neighbour
A teenage violin virtuoso
A pastor’s daughter
Most of the time Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not.
He wants to thank them and, and bid them farewell.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been recommended to me by an increasing number of people in the past few months and after hearing so many great things about it, my expectations were very high. Since it left such a lasting impression on the book blogger community and all those people whose taste I absolutely trust, and since I generally like books dealing with suicide or mental illness, I decided to give it a go. Now, after reading the book, I can’t thank all these people enough for their constant nagging – because it was simply amazing.
I loved this book for so many different reasons, I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps the best place to start is the narration and our main character, Leonard. On the surface, Leonard is your average eighteen-year-old secondary school student with an average life. Okay, maybe the fact that his mother abandoned him and, as it turns out later on, doesn’t have the faintest idea about what he’s going through and how tough his childhood has been isn’t so average. On the contrary. But other than that, he seems like any other guy his age. Until he starts talking. Through Leonard’s story we learn that, in fact, he couldn’t be any more different from everyone else. I loved his unique voice and his way of storytelling. And while he’s just a young guy trying to get through his school years, his attitude and his way of thinking, his thoughts about adulthood couldn’t be more mature. His anger and his thoughts about not wanting to grow up – because adults just don’t seem to remember how to be happy – reminded me of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye (one of my favourite classics of all time) and I loved Leonard just as much as I loved him.