Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

How I Heard About It: As I was last-minute Christmas shopping on Monday, my favorite book clerk wished me a happy holiday.  We started chatting books (of course) and she mentioned this one to me. She stated based on past conversations, she thought I would enjoy this one.  Well, I couldn't resist.  I bought the book, wrapped it up, and gave it to myself for Christmas.  

What It Is About:   This is a young adult novel that I had never heard of before Monday.  I also bought Eleanor and Park at the same time, which I will be starting soon.  Once I started the novel this morning, I knew I would finish it today.  The story follows Leonard Peacock, a high-school senior, on the day he is going to kill himself.  He is also going to kill a classmate named Asher.  Leonard hasn't had an easy life.  His father left him and his mother.  His mother has a new boyfriend and lives most of the time in New York city.  Leonard is different from most of his classmates and seems to always stand-out in more ways than one.  Leonard's best friend is an elderly gentleman who lives next door.  As he moves through his day, he gives "gifts" to the people in his life that mean something to him.  There are also flash-backs throughout the story that give details to the events in Leonard's life that led him to the day he wants to die.  

What I Thought Of It:   Being that I finished this novel in one day should tell you what I thought of it.  The story grabs hold of you from page one and doesn't let go until the last word.  I know some of you might think it is the typical high-school student who wants to kill someone and then kill himself story, but it is far from that.  It is actually a beautiful novel about life, being ourselves, and standing up for what is right in the world.  There are some amazing characters in this book that became very special to me.  As much as I wanted to get to the end of the story, I was also sad when I finished because I became quite attached to Leonard and the people in his life.
Who Should Read It:  I love when I find a new book, read it, and becomes one that I know I will remember for a long time to come.  That is what this book did for me.  I know high school readers will find the story engaging, but I'm also going to recommend it to all of my reading friends.  The novel is powerful, important, disturbing, and one of the best fiction books I've read this year.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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