My Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
“I’m trying to let him know what I’m about to do.
I’m hoping he can save me, even though I realize he can’t.”
I found this book extremely hard and painful to read. In fact, I found myself needing to read something light just to take some of the heaviness away.
Reading this would drag you inside the head and into the life of Leonard Peacock. I honestly can’t put into words what I feel about Leonard Peacock, he’s one those characters that I honestly don’t like but I care deeply about.
I went through this book having no idea on what I’m going to get, I just read the synopsis and became curious about it. So I’ll leave out as much detail as I can, in courtesy for those people who would read this. As the synopsis said, on the day of Leonard’s 18th birthday he has his grandfather’s pistol that he will use to kill his former bestfriend and then himself. But first he needs to give the four gifts he prepared for his four friends.
Leonard Peacock is an unlikable character. He is very different, like he sometimes wears a suit and then follows random strangers at the train different. His thoughts are conceited, judgmental, and sometimes sexist. I could definitely understand those people who hated him. But here’s the thing, he has gone and is going through a lot of things in his life. He is struggling. I felt that he wasn’t mentally and emotionally stable, he says that he’s is going to kill someone and then himself but deep inside, he is desperately asking to be saved. Leonard Peacock is weird, friendless, alone and even his own mother forgot his birthday.
I loved Matthew Quick’s writing style, he managed to mix-in the perfect amount of humor to this depressing book. I like how this book has footnotes, which was a very rare reading experience for me. I swear, this book is so beautifully written I couldn’t stop bookmarking my favorite lines.
I realized that the truth doesn’t matter most of the time, and when people have awful ideas about your identity, that’s just the way it will stay no matter what you do.
This book contains a lot of sensitive issues, especially with the Leonard’s motives and the reason behind it. This made me think about a lot of things, like how ugly the world can be. At the same time it showed me that behind its ugliness, the world still has people who deserve to be given medals.
It’s a sad story, it’s a depressing book. It doesn’t sugarcoat anything, I felt honest, raw and real emotion from Leonard. I could have hated Leonard but I found myself understanding how his feelings came to be and I seriously wanted to just hug him and tell him that it’ll all get better. I was so emotionally invested, I had to remind myself that this was only fiction and Leonard wasn’t real. When I finally finished reading this, I was a complete mess.
I have a mixed feeling with the ending. I somehow liked the way it ended but a part of me is throwing death glares and shouting at the book for just leaving it all like that. I doubt that I’ll ever forget Leonard Peacock’s story, I’m glad to have met him even if he filled me with pain and despair.
I can’t guarantee that you’ll love this book, I can’t justify my 5-star rating but I truly want everyone to give it a chance. This may not be for everyone, but I assure you that your time would not be wasted. It will open your eyes and make you realize that everyone is struggling and fighting their own demons, and some are painfully losing the battle. This book made me want to believe in a brighter future, it made want to hold on and continue manning the lighthouse especially on dark days (even when no one is looking).
“Not letting the world destroy you. That’s a daily battle.”