Sunday, June 01, 2014

Charli Reviews: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?

Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he'll do. He'll say goodbye.

Not to his mum - who he calls Linda because it annoys her - who's moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor's daughter and a teacher.

Most of the time, Leonard believes he's weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he's not. He wants to thank them, and say goodbye.

Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Headline
Date of Publication: Jan 2013
Pages: 288
Source: Review copy via the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Bookbridgr/Headline in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Bookbridgr and Headline!

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a short read, but it's a heck of a rollercoaster. Concerning mental health and suicide, Quick writes exactly as I imagine the style of a mentally ill person might; using lots of different techniques.

I liked Leonard as a protagonist. It really spoke to me; how he tried to make friends, tried to just be okay. I loved his voice, and all his ways of desperately trying to be friendly. I love how his friends ended up being people neither we, as readers, or himself, thought would be.

Quick's writing is enthralling. It gives you a massive insight to what it could be like, to have suicidal thoughts so... powerfully, I guess. Of course, and I'm not disputing this, every single person is different, but it keeps you guessing. I have had suicidal friends in the past, particularly in the final year of primary school, and it does make you wonder if that's what it was like for them.

I feel kind of bad, stereotyping it like that; but that is how it made me think. Because Leonard had such happy, or generally optimistic views at points, it really made me wonder.

"Don't go to the job you hate. Do something you love today. 
Ride a rollercoaster... ask her to explain... then tell her you care."

Herr Silverman was another person in this book that made me think. He put our society into what the Holocaust may have been like, using metaphors. I loved the one about designer labels, comparing them to the Swastika, and there were so many more. 
I won't lie, this is extremely hard to review; I'm trying to avoid things I normally pick up on like description and such because it's so much more than that; it really is. And although I really liked this, there was something missing. I'm still not entirely sure what that was, almost two weeks on, but for me, there was something.

So, I loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock; the characters, interesting ideas and writing style. There might have been something missing; but it is amazing, and so, so thought-provoking.

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