August 14, 2013

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Description: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.

My Review: WOW. That was my immediate reaction after finishing this novel! It was so gripping, thought-provoking, and real. It was an intense and suspenseful read, and the pages flew by as I just had to know what would happen next. I wanted to know what Asher did in order to make Leonard feel that he had no choice but to kill him. And I was on the edge of my seat hoping that someone would interfere or something would make Leonard change his mind so that he wouldn't follow through with his sinister plans. I didn't think I would ever sympathize with a character like Leonard, but I totally did. And Herr Silverman...what an amazing character! 

The format of the story was unique, incorporating footnotes, poetry, and letters from the future. . 

I feel like I'm going to start gushing if I try to write any more, and I'm not sure I can really put my thoughts into words without spoiling the story too much. So I'll leave you with a quote from a really awesome review of this book by Sarah from Forever Young Adult (posted on Kirkus Reviews): 

"Pro-tip: Never, ever play Paper Rock Scissors with Matthew Quick. Because he will always win with paper. You could have the sharpest pair of finger scissors, and dude will come out of nowhere with a piercing page of words and DESTROY YOU." 


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