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.
Leonard Peacock is determined to kill his ex-best friend. I know I’ve hated people, but killing them hasn’t yet crossed my mind. With his gun in his backpack, Leonard heads off to say goodbye to his four “friends” (friends being a relative word) and as Leonard’s day progresses, we begin to understand Leonard, his life, and even those around him.
Leonard is an extremely insightful person. Throughout the novel, we get to see Leonard observe others and wonder why this? Why don’t people do that? Why is this not appreciated? What makes him or her so special? Ever felt this? What about that? It’s these questions that really open our eyes to our own world. For many of us, we live the atypical life: we go to school, maybe even university, get a job we aren’t happy with ’cause we couldn’t get the one we would’ve been happy with, and continue through life monotonously without even being aware of it. Leonard epitomizes different, and he shows that through his ability to see the world as it is. While he accepts it, he doesn’t think it’s worth living to see. It was a real experience getting to run through this kid’s mind and I thoroughly enjoyed observing the world from Leonard’s point of view.
I think I can speak for practically everyone when I say that I wish I had a teacher like Herr Silverman at my schools. In my experience, teachers rarely, if ever, give a flying butterfly about their students outside of the school. Someone had scars on their wrist, they’d look the other way. Someone stopped social interaction with everyone, they’d ask if their okay, and accept the quiet “I’m fine” without hesitation. The fact that Herr Silverman played a large part in some of Leonard’s decisions and choices gave me hope with regards to teachers. I hope someone out there, someone who needs a teacher, parent, or role model like that, will be able to find one. ALL MY LOVE TO HERR SILVERMAN.
This novel dealt with an issue that very few people have yet accepted as an actual issue. I think many people should read this book to open their eyes to this problem. Such an experience, as one can see from this novel, is traumatic and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Matthew Quick blew up the secret perfectly and managed to hit me right in the butterflying feels. That said, the plot’s execution was phenomenal and extremely well done. This novel managed to make me laugh as much as I sobbed uncontrollably.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is an eye opening novel about growing up and dealing with traumatic memories. Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why, this novel blew me away and is definitely a must read!
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.08/5
A copy of this book was provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.