Book Review 61: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Posted on January 7, 2015 «
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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review 61: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Published on: 2013-08-13
Pages: 288
Length: 6 hours, 19 minutes
Genres: audiobook, general fiction, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up


I can honestly say Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick took me by surprise. I downloaded this via the SYNC Free Downloads event and had no idea what the book was about. Interestingly enough, I had also read The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, which deals with some of the same issues. I also listened to this novel right after Code Name Verity so you can imagine my shock when the novel starts off with a kid handling a P-38 WWII Nazi handgun.

This novel is a tough, honest look at bullying. Right from the start the reader knows what Leonard’s plan is, but the reasons are not totally clear beyond perhaps the usual teenage angst and lack of belonging. When it is finally revealed why Leonard is considering the extreme measure of murder/suicide, I was shocked and immediately heartbroken. I wanted to take Leonard in my arms and give him solace.

The issues this book deals with are quite hard-hitting and may not sit well with all readers. It certainly takes a unique view and gives voice to the person being bullied. There’s also a brief glimpse of why the bullying was happening in the first place. For me, the saddest part was not Leonard and his decision, but the lack of involvement from the parents. For me, it says a lot about our society when parents are not connected to their kids and ignore the changes the Leonard saw in himself and Asher.

Overall, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick receives a thumbs up. It’s a solid book that deals with some hard-hitting issues that some readers may find troubling, but those issues definitely receive an honest examination.


23 responses to “Book Review 61: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

  1. Wow. This book definitely sounds like an interesting one. I enjoy books that are written about real-life problems and have a goal, next to being a great read.
    Nice review 😉

    • Thank you, Maureen. This book definitely deals with real life issues.

      Terri M. LeBlanc
      Second Run Reviews:
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews

  2. NovaReylin

    I also just loved this! It took me by surprise also although I had read the synopsis and thought that I had planned my mind for the plot. It was so much better than I had imagined though! And what an emotional roller coaster! So glad you liked it. I haven’t read either of the two you mentioned. I’ll have to add them to my TBR!

  3. Sounds like a pretty powerful novel. I’ve seen it around but never gave it much of a chance-I definitely will now! I agree that it’s sad the characters situation got that way in the first place, too bad the parents didn’t help or encourage him.

  4. This sounds REALLY emotional! I’ve heard so many good things about this novel, though I’m not sure how it will sit with me because I’m not good with such heavy topics like this. But I’m glad you loved it!

    • Since this was an audiobook I own, I found it easier to take breaks some days on my way home. I would listen to music if I had a tough day at work. I’m not sure what it would have been like if it had been a library book.

      Terri M. , the Director
      Second Run Reviews

  5. Tanja

    Woha, that’s what I call a start of the novel. I have heard a lot about this one but haven’t got to read it yet. I will as I love emotional reads and this one seems to be heartbreaking. Amazing review, Terri 🙂

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve heard great things about Leonard, so I’m glad that you gave it a thumbs up. I’ll have to pick it up soon – and I may share it with my teens. 🙂

    • It is a really tough book and does deal with some sexual orientations issues. It was shocking because I wasn’t expecting it at all.

      Terri M. , the Director
      Second Run Reviews

  7. ramwry

    Nothing but good things I’ve heard so far about this one and I’m really anxious to bite into it myself 🙂 Soon! Great review, Terri.

    • Thank you for the kind words. After listening to the book, I did poke around the reviews on GoodReads. There are quite a few mixed reviews. I think the topics covered in the book can be quite polarizing. I’m happy I read the book. It was a tough read. However, that’s one of the many reasons I read!

  8. Wow, this book sounds so good, but so hard to read, considering all the topics. Bullying is such an awful thing, and it is scary to read about a kid feeling so awful he wants to end his life (and the lives of others). I think this is such an important topic to broach though, so I am really glad that this book is out there! I definitely have to read it soon, thanks for the wonderful review!

    • It does tackle some difficult issues. Thank you for the compliment!

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews:
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews

  9. I remember when this book first came out a lot of people really liked it. I should read it… I actually should’ve downloaded those free audio books… I wish you could also get those books are free ebooks. I am just not an audio book listener. So I never usually download the books they release.

    • There are quite a few negative reviews on GoodReads. At least that’s what seemed to pop up when I scanned the page last. It was worth the listen. I’m not sure I would have picked it up as a book.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews

  10. I was totally punched by this book. Omg. I was so invested and addicted and I LOVED the footnotes. I couldn’t turn pages fast enough and at the same time I wanted to savour them. Such a freakishly sad book though.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!