Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick Book Review

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Published by: Headline

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Pages: 273

Hi everyone! Today I’m back with my first book review of 2016, how exciting! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year and are looking forward to all of the good times this year is sure to bring. This book is one that I received as a gift for Christmas (I gave my mum a huge list of books I’d like so that she could pick a few and it would still be a surprise for me on Christmas day) and I was so excited to read it, and I’m really glad I did. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is one of those YA books that I feel are just so important. It contains themes of suicide, mental health, sexual assault and parental neglect but these issues are dealt with in an appropriate and sensitive way by the author, and I commend him for this.

The main character, Leonard Peacock, was well-written and interesting. He was a teenage boy with mental health issues but also so much more than that (as all people who suffer from mental issues are) which is another accomplishment of Matthew Quick’s writing as many authors tend to zoom in so far on these traits that their character ends up having no other qualities. Leonard is in a seemingly hopeless situation and portrays himself as having no hope but throughout the novel we repeatedly see this ever-present fragment of hope in his actions, that someone will stop him from committing suicide or even just wish him a happy birthday and this characteristic is one of the things that made me love Leonard. My favourite character in the novel is Walt, Leonard’s next door neighbour who is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart movies and smokes like a chimney. Walt is one of the only people who seem to really care for Leonard and he’s just such a sweet old man that you’d be strange not to love him. Besides this, the relationship between Walt and Leonard is one of the only things keeping them both alive; they are kindred spirits despite their difference in age. Then there is Herr Silverman, Leonard’s holocaust class teacher, one of the most well-written and caring teachers that I’ve ever read in YA. Herr Silverman’s character is one that will resonate with anyone that reads this novel, we all have that one teacher that went the extra mile and changed our lives for the better, and it warmed my heart that this character represented all of those wonderful teachers so well.

The plot of this novel is fast paced and exciting with everything leading up to the murder-suicide that Leonard has planned to carry out on his 18th birthday but despite the fast pace you don’t feel that anything has been missed out. The plot is well thought-out and an emotional rollercoaster – you may need tissues and a cup of tea to help with both happy and sad tears. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book; however, I did feel that the ending could have had more detail and information as we are so emotionally invested in the storyline but apart from that, an excellent and important read for fans of YA fiction.

Hope you enjoyed!

Until next time,

Shannon x

Rating: 4/5

Recommend? YES

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