Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has got to be one of the funniest books I’ve read so far this year. It really feels inappropriate to be so amused by this book – after all, it is the story of a teenager planning the untimely demise (murder) of his former best friend Asher Beal. We’re not really sure what Asher has done to earn the wrath of Leonard, and Leonard doesn’t really talk about why he wants to kill Asher until the end of the book. Leonard has decided that his birthday is the best day to kill Asher and then commit suicide. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a trip inside the mind of a highly intelligent, possibly genius, and mostly disturbed teenager.
The thing that struck me most about this book is the eloquence in which Leonard expresses himself. Leonard does not have moments of genius, he is one. This is a boy who can have entire conversations with his elderly neighbor and father figure in Humphrey Bogart movie dialogue. Yes – it can be done. Leonard is so smart that his essay on Shakespeare’s Hamlet showed was so incredibly astute, that he didn’t even bother answering the multiple choice questions because his essay clearly demonstrated his understanding of the subject matter.
Leonard is a strange boy, yet it is easy to like him and feel his pain. He writes letters to himself from the future where his fictional wife assures him that they have plenty of sex. His version of the future is a little scary. It features a world destroyed by nuclear war, earthquakes, flooding, and giant mutated friendly dolphins.
Leonard is articulate and his observations of the world around him ring true. Leonard struggles with the day to day issues that most teens experience. He follows adults around to see if they are miserable like he is. He questions the existence of religion and God. Leonard’s world is different because Leonard sees things that we may not see.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was an insightful trip into the mind of a troubled teenager suffering from parental neglect, loneliness, sexual identity issues, and the usual teenage angst. It is both amusing and heart wrenching. Both young adult and adult readers should enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for a review copy of this book.
Review posted on Badass Book Reviews