Received: Received a copy from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date: August 13, 2013
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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 hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
This is my first Matthew Quick book, and I'm so glad I picked this up. Quick has a way of getting into his character's head. I absolutely loved how this story was told, Leonard is a special character and he will always have a place in my heart after reading this book.
The story is told from Leonard's point of view on the day when he plans to kill his former best friend, and then himself. First Leonard spends his day saying goodbye to those who have made an impact on him, and you get to hear the stories of how these people helped change his life. Everything about this book was beautiful and Quick writes in a way that makes you just want to keep reading, getting you that much closer to the truth. And I must say, when you find out the truth of what brought Leonard to this point, it is emotional and heart-wrenching.
All of the secondary characters were interesting, and made such an impact on the story. You can really see why Leonard chose to hold on to these people, even with the little interaction he has with them because of how they make him feel when he is so alone in the world. My favourite character by far was that of Herr Silverman, Leonard's teacher. Herr Silverman is a teacher that really cares about his students and he challenges them, but he goes beyond being a teacher and is there for his students. There aren't a lot of teachers around that will put themselves out there to help a student, but I knew one or two when I was in high school, and Herr Silverman reminded me of that bond.
What I loved even more in this book is that there are little footnotes at the bottom of many pages, I found this really placed you deeper into Leonard's head so that readers could understand him that much more. I felt that this connected me more with Leonard, almost like as a reader I had an inside joke with Leonard.
Though there are a few humorous parts throughout this story (his interactions with his neighbour and the way he tries to imagine his future sometimes), this story was very emotional, and I can see there being a lot of discussion surrounding this book. This is one book I think everyone absolutely needs to read ASAP!