Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Another Matthew Quick book, another mentally ill character. Here, the hapless and very unevenly portrayed Pat Peoples has been replaced with Leonard Peacock, a misfit high school student with very horrific plans for his eighteenth birthday.
Yes, we meet Leonard Peacock as he wakes on his 18th birthday. He's given himself a mirrorless kitchen knife haircut, wrapping up the hair and leaving it wrapped in pink paper in the refrigerator for his mom Linda to find whenever she decides to come home from her new life in New York. He's also wrapped up presents for a few of his favorite people. Then, there's the present he has in store for the boy who used to be his best friend.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is yet another of Quick's manipulative tales of mental illness. Leonard Peacock is an uneven character. After recently finishing This Song Will Save Your Life by Laila Sales and seeing just how interesting and involving a story of a bullied teen can be, I found this to be mostly distasteful. I was handed a copy of Silver Linings Playbook by my brother-in-law and found it to be nearly nonsensical. If the story hadn't taken place where I live and work (and the book didn't belong to someone else) I'm sure I would have spent as much time hurling it against the wall as reading it.
Leonard Peacock also lives in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (Oaklyn, New Jersey is Quick's hometown), but the familiar locales did little to assuage my annoyance with this book. I wanted to like Leonard. I wanted to root for him, but I couldn't. Don't misunderstand me, I didn't want him to go out in a blaze of erroneously perceived glory, taking his ex-best friend and classmate with him, but I was definitely not a fan of this disturbed boy.