on August 13th 2013
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 look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
On the very rare occasion when I find a contemporary I like it usually falls into one of a few categories. They’re either what some call “issue” books (your MI, illness, assault, school shooting etc stories), something with a mystery aspect, retellings, or boarding school stories. This book is definitely of the first kind.
This is one of those books that is very difficult put down once you start. I found myself reading late into the night, and then looking up the author’s entire bibliography and adding it to my TBR. The writing itself hooked me more than the plot, though that was well done as well. Several lines actually made me stop for a moment and smile or even sniffle a little.
I love the main character. He is messed up and flawed as hell but I think all the best characters are. He grows a lot and learns to deal with a lot of crap going on in his life. Kinda. But you’ll have to read the book to find out now won’t you. He’s the kind of character that I’d never thought I could like but for some reason he’s still very endearing.
This story is dark, it’s gritty, and it shows a great deal of humanity in ways we don’t always want to see. However I think the story is beautiful. I think fans of dark contemporary will love this book and fans of issue books will enjoy it as well.
What are your favorite kinds of contemporary books? Any recommendations for a contemporary hater? Share in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,