Sunday, August 9, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, 304 pages

I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. I read "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Boy 21" which are also by Matthew Quick and enjoyed them. I saw this book on the shelf at the library and the cover drew me in. (That happens to me a lot. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but really artistic ones appeal to me for some reason.)

This is the story of Leonard Peacock, a young man in high school who has decided to end his life and that of a middle school friend who has turned into a high school tormentor. He plans to do this on his birthday after giving gifts to a few people who are meaningful to him. The story plays out over the course of this day.

The main character's voice was engaging. Leonard is a kid who is sarcastic and funny and also deeply hurting. He reveals his story both in real time and flashbacks over the course of the day he has chosen to end his life. I found this to be an engaging read although the ending of the book seemed odd to me. As if the author stopped twenty or thirty pages too soon.

Regardless of that, the book that delves into the psyche of a teenager battling depression who has decided that life is too much for him and I give Matthew Quick kudos for how well he presented the character. However, I was disappointed in the strangely abrupt ending of the novel. I believe there was an attempt at ambiguity but as far as I'm concerned, it fell short.

2.5 out of 5 stars from Ethan

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