Leonard Peacock just turned 18 but nobody remembers his birthday, not even his mom. He decided to plot a murderous intent using his grandfather’s P-38 WWII Nazi handgun but first he has yet to deliver special gifts to four people – Walt, Herr Silverman, Baback, Lauren Rose. A special gift has been reserved for Asher Beal and he also has a parting gift for himself.
This is an emotionally laden young adult fiction written by a celebrated author, Matthew Quick. A friend lent me this book (thank you friend!) and I was quite skeptical with the first chapter. Leonard’s first person point of view talks in a straightforward manner and you’ll know that he intends to kill a classmate who was formerly his best friend and afterwards he’ll kill himself. It is very disturbing but the premise is intriguing.
From here the story slowly builds up – his parents, his neighbor, his violin virtuoso classmate, his crush on a religious girl, his Holocaust teacher, and his former best friend. The author has profoundly weaved a story as to how Leonard decided to end his life along with his classmate. Suicide is a very delicate topic and somehow it was realistically implemented.
To be honest, I find the protagonist a pathetic person in the first few chapters because suicide is not a solution. However, as the story progressed I was filled with pity for him because of what he has been through. I strongly recommend this book because it increases awareness on suicide and also offers insight on how we can possibly avoid it.
Here’s an excerpt conversation between Leonard and Herr Silverman that stuck to me:
“My life will get better? You really believe that?” I ask…
“It can. If you’re willing to do the work.”
“Not letting the world destroy you. That’s a daily battle.”