'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Sunday, 8 June 2014

REVIEW: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock 
Matthew Quick
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.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a book that I've heard so many brilliant things about. So many fellow bloggers have rated it so highly so I was really excited to start it. What started off as a really promising read soon fell a little flat for me, however. This is something I'll go into a little later in the review. Overall I found it to be a really interesting and emotionally draining read. There is something so captivating about Quick's characters. I was looking forward to seeing how things would play out.

 From the first page I was completely captivated by Leonard's narrative. I wanted to know what had happened to him to make him feel the way he did. I wanted to know how he got to be in this situation and why he felt like he had no one to turn to. I had to so many questions that needed answers and I wasn't disappointed with the answers that I got. So much was cleared up and I found that I could sympathise with Leonard so much. He dealt with things that someone of his age should not have had to deal with. I liked that the story was entirely from his perspective. It allowed a lot of tension to build up and for the questions to remain open until Leonard chose to share them with us. I felt like we had to build up that trust with him to get to know more about his life and what had led him to these decisions.

Now onto the part I don't like writing. I didn't think much of the ending. I wanted more. I wanted to cry. I wanted to feel all of the feels for Leonard. It didn't happen. I don't know how to write this part of the review because of spoilers but I'm more than happy to talk it out with people who have read it. I expected more from the developments that came about. That being said, I still really enjoyed the book and I can definitely see why people love it. It depicts a very real struggle with mental health issues and I'm glad I've read it. It's the kind of book that I hope that people can read and feel a less of belonging. That they're not stuck out on their own; that others are going through the same thing. Overall a very moving and captivating read!

2 comments:

  1. It's a shame you didn't completely love this book. I thought it was amazing! I can understand what you mean about the ending, but sometimes I think it's good when things aren't completely tied up with a ribbon. Hope this doesn't sound too cryptic, I'm trying not to be spoilery, but... There was a conclusion to this very specific story, this very specific plot. Maybe not everything, but the book spanned about 24 hours. You can't tie that up completely. But we know where things will lead from that point. That's what's satisfying, we know what will happen - even if we don't see it.

    I thought it was incredible! :)

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  2. I loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock... Leonard is such of a heartbreaking character and his story punched me in the heart so hard... And I never thought about Leonard's slowly revealing his reasons to the reader as a sign of his growing trust towards them (or maybe he was finally confronting his issues in a way that didn't involve violent? Hmmm), but that's a really interesting thought! I might have to reread the book to see :)

    Oh, and I completely agree about the ending... Open endings really irritate me, but I can sometimes appreciate them, but this one... Eh-- I do kind of agree with Jo, but I would really like to know what happened to Leonard after such of a sad, sad day...

    Wonderful review!

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