Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Hardcover, 288 pages

On Leonard Peacock’s 18th birthday, he takes a gun to school. He’s angry, depressed, and sees little point in continuing on to adulthood. I’ll let the author, Matthew Quick, tell you more about it.

You know, I both loved and hated the character of Leonard Peacock, and I think that’s a testament to Q’s writing. Leonard goes on about the uber-pretentiousness of his classmates, how they put themselves up on moral pedestals, without recognizing he is pretentious himself. But I find that to be a realistic character trait.

This novel, even though the protagonist is headed toward a murder/suicide, is about hope. And what’s great about the writing is that readers can see that little bit of hope throughout the novel, even in Leonard’s dark moments. And we also watch him fight against the hope and rationalize it away, which I also find realistic.

I don’t know if this is one I’d give to my middle schoolers, but it was definitely a read that I couldn’t put down. Well done, Q.

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