Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Gripping and devastatingly honest new novel by Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock summary

Leonard Peacock is turning 18. And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific. Nor to his mum who’s move out and left him to fend for himself. But to his four friends.

A Humphrey Bogart-obsessed neighbour.

A teenage violin virtuoso

A pastor’s daughter

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 bid them farewell. 

My thoughts

I’ve never read Silver Linings Playbook, or even seen the movie, but I’ve heard both are fantastic. So, when I was given the opportunity to read and review Matthew Quick’s new book, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, I jumped at the chance. (Thanks Bookbridgr!)

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it, so when I first began reading and found frequent footnotes throughout the novel I wasn’t sure I would like it. They irritated me at first but I quickly began to enjoy them, even though they can be distracting at times.

But overall, I’d definitely recommend Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. It’s written from the perspective of a suicidal teenager so it’s very harrowing, but I thought it was stunningly well-written and believable, and thought-provoking too. Leonard is smart and witty, so despite the upsetting nature of the book you can’t help but laugh with him at times, but those moments of laughter are soon countered by the anger, sorrow, heart-ache, loneliness and helplessness you’ll feel.

Don’t pick up Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock hoping for a light read. It may be a short book, but its pages are packed with words that carry huge importance, touching on topics including rape, murder, sexuality and family relationships as well as suicide. But if you’re willing to tackle some of the devastating emotions that Leonard, and others in similar situations, face as they begin to give up on life, you’re in for an eye-opening experience that’s bound to move you.

My rating

**** 4/5 stars

You might like Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, if you enjoyed one of the following. Alternatively, if you’ve read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and enjoyed it, here are some recommendations for your TBR list.

Wake by Lisa McMann

Little White Lies by Katie Dale

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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