Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock: A Novel
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock: A Novel

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Annotation: A day in the life of a suicidal teen boy saying good-bye to the four people who matter most to him. Contains Mature Material
Catalog Number: #85668
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Mature Content Mature Content
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 273 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-22135-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-82591-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-22135-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-82591-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012031410
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Subject Heading:
Suicide. Fiction.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
It's Leonard's eighteenth birthday and, big surprise, nobody remembered. This birthday, however, is going to count cause Leonard plans to shoot cruel bully (and former best friend) Asher Beal after school. First, though, there is the small matter of gift giving, in which Leonard delivers four presents to the four people who made his "worthless" life a little better: a noir film loving neighbor, a violin prodigy classmate, a superhot teen evangelist, and his favorite teacher. The single-day time frame provides a good deal of claustrophobic tension, as readers will hope against hope that one of these four people will be able to deflect Leonard from his mission. But this is far from a thriller; Quick is most interested in Leonard's psychology, which is simultaneously clear and splintered, and his voice, which is filled with brash humor, self-loathing, and bucket loads of refreshingly messy contradictions, many communicated through Leonard's footnotes to his own story. It may sound bleak, but it is, in fact, quite brave, and Leonard's interspersed fictional notes to himself from 2032 add a unique flavor of hope.
Horn Book
Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock is packing a handgun and planning to kill his former best friend, then himself. Over the course of one intense day (with flashbacks), Leonard's existential crisis is delineated through an engaging first-person narrative supplemented with letters from the future that urge Leonard to believe in a "life beyond the |bermorons" at school. Complicated characters and ideas mark this memorable story.
Kirkus Reviews
A teen boy with a World War II pistol in hand is bent on murder and suicide. Leonard Peacock has big plans for his birthday: He's cut his longish hair down to the scalp, wrapped some going-away presents for his friends and tucked his grandfather's souvenir Nazi-issue P-38 pistol into his backpack. He's off to school, but he plans to make some pit stops along the way to see his friends, including his elderly, Bogart-obsessed neighbor. After he gives his gifts away, he'll murder Asher Beal, another boy at school. Then he'll off himself. To say Quick's latest is dark would be an understatement: Leonard is dealing with some serious issues and comes across as a resolutely heartless killer in the first few pages. As the novel progresses and readers learn more, however, his human side and heart rise to the surface and tug at readers' heartstrings. The work has its quirks. Footnotes run amok, often telling more story than the actual narrative, and some are so long that readers might forget what's happening in the story as they read the footnote. Some readers will eat this up, but others will find it endlessly distracting. Other structural oddities include letters written by Leonard to himself from the future; they seem to make no sense at first, but readers find out later that his teacher recommended he write them to cope with his depression. Despite these eccentricities, the novel presents a host of compelling, well-drawn, realistic characters--all of whom want Leonard to make it through the day safe and sound. An artful, hopeful exploration of a teen boy in intense need. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Quick-s books typically revolve around characters who don-t fit in, don-t understand their place in the world, and face daunting obstacles. Leonard Peacock is another such individual, a teenager who feels let down by adults and out of step with his sheeplike classmates. Foreseeing only more unhappiness and disappointment in life (and harboring a secret that-s destroying him), Leonard packs up his grandfather-s WWII handgun and heads to school, intending to kill his former best friend and then himself. First, though, he will visit the important people in his life: an elderly cinephile neighbor, a musically gifted classmate, the teacher of his Holocaust studies class, and a homeschooled girl who passes out religious tracts in the train station. Quick-s attentiveness to these few key relationships and encounters gives the story its strength and razorlike focus. Its greatest irony is that, despite Leonard-s commitment to his murder-suicide plan, he appreciates and values life in a way that few do. Through Leonard, Quick urges readers to look beyond the pain of the here and now to the possibilities that await. Ages 15-up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 10 Up&12; Leonard Peacock has big plans for his 18th birthday. He plans to kill Asher Beal and then commit suicide. Leonard is a loner, an outcast, a misfit. Asher is a superpopular jock/bully. But they used to be friends, best friends. Something happened when they were 12, something bad . Leonard has had no one to confide in-his washed-up rock-musician dad is on the lam and his self-absorbed, oblivious mother forgets that she has a son. His anger, emotional pain, and brokenness build until he feels there is nothing left to do but end his life and the cause of his misery. As he gives gifts to the four people who mean something to him, he reveals some of his anguish. One recipient, his teacher Herr Silverman, picks up on his suicidal signals and offers the listening ear Leonard so desperately needs. As the heartbreaking climax unfolds, readers learn about the sexual and emotional trauma the teen has endured. Fortunately, there is no bloodshed, just the shedding of many overdue tears. Leonard knows he needs help and readers will hope he gets it. This is a difficult, yet powerful, book. Quick's use of flashbacks, internal dialogue, and interpersonal communication is brilliant, and the suspense about what happened between Leonard and Asher builds tangibly. The masterful writing takes readers inside Leonard's tormented mind, enabling a compassionate response to him and to others dealing with trauma. May there be more Herr Silvermans willing to take personal risks to save the Leonard Peacocks.&12; Lisa Crandall, formerly at the Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Word Count: 58,783
Reading Level: 5.9
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.9 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 160432 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:8.3 / points:14.0 / quiz:Q61407
Lexile: 980L

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was--that I couldn't stick around--and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. Maybe one day he'll believe that being different is okay, important even. But not today.


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