Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a young adult novel based around the titular character of Leonard. He decides to kill his former best friend and then himself on his eighteenth birthday. This book is the story of that day.

I think I’ll always remember this novel for being present during such a tough time in my life, hence why it took me a month (!!!) to actually read it. I started it one day, and then didn’t pick it (or any book) up again until four weeks later when I was at work and thinking about how much things had changed.

There are no words to describe how relevant this book has been to my life over the past month or so. Don’t worry, I’m not some murderous student at all, but many aspects of this book hit home really hard. The letters from the future, I’ve done that after many different attempts and many mess-ups. The teacher who just gets you on some level that no one else does, I’m lucky enough to have two of those who have really helped me out recently. Like Leonard, they make things feel better in a way that can’t explained. The feelings of wanting to be everything and nothing at the same time. The feeling of being present but not really being there. Feeling like your whole world is ending and everything is going wrong, but on the outside, you look just like you do every other day. Knowing something is going to change drastically whilst everyone else carries on with their lives normally.

For me and Leonard, those feelings became too much and we snapped. We broke, and we broke in a way that couldn’t be ignored any longer. It happened to us at the same time. Life has been really hard for me lately and life was hard for Leonard too. It was hard in different ways but in reality, the two of us weren’t all that different.

If anyone ever asks me why I read or what I get from it, this book will be my answer. It made me feel less alone, less stupid for feeling what I feel, less weird and even a little bit less ashamed. I’ve always been different and I’ve learnt to embrace that, but sometimes it’s not enough to like yourself. Sometimes you need to be liked by other people too. I like to think Leonard and I would be friends, and I hope that out there in the fictional universe, SPOILER

I know this isn’t really a review. I usually speak about plot and about character development and relationships. In one word, it’s all great. Matthew Quick wrote a book that I will never forget and that really, really helped me. I only wish I had read it sooner.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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