Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

eBook - 2013
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A day in the life of a suicidal teen boy saying good-bye to the four people who matter most to him.
Publisher: New York ;, Boston :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
ISBN: 9780316246316
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

One of the things I enjoy about Young Adult literature is how much fantasy and science fiction there is in the category. The whole “it’s a world like ours, but plucky protagonist discovers there are dragons in human form” kind of thing. There’s a way of turning the big existential questions that plague young people (well, I hope we never totally grow out of existential questions, but for young people especially) into metaphors to look at them differently.

Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock doesn’t do that. The only fantasy in this story is a series of letters Leonard Peacock has written to himself from the future, at the request of his Holocaust teacher.

This is the story of Leonard Peacock’s birthday which is also the day he brings a dead Nazi’s gun to school for a murder-suicide.

It’s kind of amazing. There are four characters he has farewell gifts for before he ends his life and the life of the young man who was once his best friend but has become something else, and we follow him through the day and his life with these people in his memory. We meet these four – his elderly neighbour he watches Humphrey Bogart movies with, the Iranian violinist who goes to his school, the homeschooled evangelist he has a crush on and his Holocaust teacher – and learn about the other people in his life and how it has come to this.

Quick has written Leonard as a smart kid who loves Hamlet and he tells the reader his story directly, with many asides in the footnotes. He’s also weird, and critical and feels very authentically teenagery. He snarks at the “It Gets Better” campaign, but really really wants some help with life. One of my favourite things about the book is that the people he’s giving his gifts to, they aren’t stupid. He cuts off all his hair and everyone is worried. They see the warning signs and can tell they’re warning signs but it’s hard to tell what to do. No one is stupid; they’re just people.

I loved the book and recommend it highly (probably not for middle-schoolers though). And it makes an interesting companion piece to We Need to Talk About Kevin.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 19, 2017

I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock in one night because I couldn't put it down. The book follows Leonard Peacock, a troubled 17-year-old boy suffering from depression who plans to kill his ex-best friend, Asher, and then himself, on his birthday. An extremely intense novel, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is an unforgiving look at mental illness and isolation that delves deep into Leonard's pysche - much deeper and much more haunting than one might expect. Quick's writing and descriptions of Leonard's pain are gutwrenching and beautiful all at the same time. The twist revealed in the third act - what Asher did - is heartbreaking and touches upon a topic that isn't talked about nearly enough in today's society. This is ultimately a hopeful read, but you have to bear the storm that comes first. I can honestly say that this book changed - and possibly saved - my life.
- @reallylikesmusicals of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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secondhandrose
Mar 09, 2017

Although the subject matter was bleak this was really well composed and included some laugh out loud moments. Very deftly handled ending.

JCLDebbieF Sep 21, 2016

Wow what a sad story this was! Told in the voice of a morose, yet incredibly intelligent teenage boy, we're given a raw look into the road to suicide, and how depression affects your thoughts.

AL_KATI Aug 08, 2016

Wow. I don't think this book has been read enough, or even heard of. Incredibly powerful and thoughtful, especially how Quick deals with murder-suicide. May be a bit tough emotionally for some readers.

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finn75
Jul 24, 2016

This book makes me remember how awful it is to be a teenager. You are so sensitive and vulnerable and dependent on the will and opinions of others. This book ultimately is a story of hope. That you can be at the bottom but you must always remember everything passes and life can look very different in time. Hang in there Leonard.

LPL_KimberlyL Feb 11, 2016

I wish I could transport myself in to this story so that I could sit with Leonard Peacock and just be his friend. What a lonely, despondent, and unusual character! I connected with Leonard on a deeper level than I do with most characters from novels--mostly because I wanted him to have a meaningful relationship and for him to be okay. This is one of those books that will stay with you for a long time--where you will continue to mull over the plot and the little intricacies. I won't be forgetting about Leonard any time soon.

CMLibrary_kmullis Feb 10, 2016

A book that not only has the ability to change someone's life, but quite possibly save it. The story is dark, bleak, and often heartbreaking, but it holds on to hope so tightly that readers simply can't let go. A phenomenal read.

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stceceilia
Sep 30, 2015

Brilliant book. I really liked how the book ended, i felt it wrapped things up really well and was realistic. Would definitely recommend this book, especially for teens contemplating suicide. It was a deeply moving book and was on the edge of my set wondering how it would end.

m
MegK
Jun 25, 2014

I have next to nothing in common with Leonard Peacock. But thanks to Matthew Quick's outstandingly realistic narration, I felt able to connect with him and really empathize with his situation. The trigger for Leonard's plans of murder-suicide is one not often brought up in YA literature, but it is so important. I am glad that Quick decided to take it on, as he did so with great sensitivity and skill. A quick, fast-paced read.

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rem85
Sep 28, 2015

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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apopolau
Jun 25, 2015

I once told Herr Silverman about that red-line painting, saying I could easily do it myself, and he said in this super-confident voice, "But you didn't. " pg 2

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