“I tried to be who I thought the world wanted me to be all through high school. Always trying to please everyone else – keeping my true self invisible. It took me nineteen years to figure out who I was and another twelve or so months to admit it. I didn’t want to ever forget again. I tattooed my wrist with a symbol. So the answer would always be there.”
AUTHOR: Matthew Quick
PUBLICATION DATE: August 13, 2013
GENRE: Young Adult, Mental Health, Contemporary
DATE READ: April 19, 2016
GOODREADS RATING: 3.96
PERSONAL RATING: ☆☆☆☆.5/5
📚 SYNOPSIS 📚
It is Leonard Peacock’s eighteenth birthday and it is also the day that he plans to kill his ex best friend named Asher Beal using his grandfather’s legendary old gun. After his first task, he also intends to kill himself. Leonard thinks that he is different from everybody else and he doesn’t like it. He is tired of waking up everyday feeling left out and unwanted. He is determined to end everything TODAY.
What could be the contributing factors to Leo’s decision?
Did anyone ever noticed his change in demeanor?
Is there still a chance for him to be saved?
📚 SETTING 📚
“SUICIDE causes around 5,000 deaths each year according to a lot of statistical sites online and the main reason is DEPRESSION…”
I can’t say anything much about the set up although something about the future caught my interest and attention. There are parts where Leo talked about the scenarios a couple of years from now and it is quite interesting. It is futuristic and a post-apocalypse set up where water took over the world and washed everything away. They were basically living under water and some studies are still ongoing if there will be any part of the earth that is survivable. It is cool but it is not the setting of the story itself. This is just a simple story that took place in a high school campus where bullying is rampant.
📚 CHARACTERS 📚
Leonard Peacock is a disturbed 18-year-old boy or rather should I say young man? He is intelligent is his own way and he has valid arguments most of the time. He seems normal. He goes to school daily and usually interacts with other students. At first, you might just think that he has issues but if you dig deeper you will discover that Leo is depressed and he needs to be rescued.
Mr. Herr Silverman is Leo’s highschool teacher. He is the ideal mentor of every student but a lot of them doesn’t value his existence. I like his character, he is a keen observer and an appreciative person. If it wasn’t for him, things could have been worse for our main character.
Mr. Walt is Leo’s old neighbor who happens to be his friend and serves as a second father to him. They seldom talk about personal stuffs but they enjoy each other’s company because they are both fans of Bogie movies. He is bubbly and cute. He doesn’t show it but he cares for the kid so much.
📚 WRITING STYLE AND PLOT 📚
First, hooray for the writing style! I loved it! It is absolutely a fast-read and fast-paced. You can finish it in a day or two. You will never put it down because you will keep on wondering why the hell is Leo so eager to end his life. Second, the author discussed a very sensitive issue here which is suicide. I recommend this book to every teenager alive! Okay maybe I’m exaggerating but this book is full of hope! It may be screaming death every chapter but it is HOPE itself. Many young people nowadays suffer from what the main character has been going through and Mr. Quick is a genius for giving an inspiration to young readers around the world. Third, I didn’t expect it to have an ending as inspiring as that. I thought it will be like Miss Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places which crushed my heart into pieces and left me devastated. Surprisingly, the author did a great job, you can still tell the people what you want without adding fuel to the flame. Yes, I like how the character didn’t die. How? You have to find it out for yourself. I had goosebumps on the parts where Leo was giving away all the four presents to some special people in his life before he commits a serious crime. This is an eye-opener! A well-written masterpiece that deserves a hype! Seriously? If you haven’t read this one yet then you are definitely missing a lot. The only flaw that I have noticed is his mother’s attitude which didn’t chAnge until the end. It sucks to have a person like that in your life, no wonder why the main character is so eager to commit suicide. The scenes and turn out of events may not be as mind-blowing as you expect it to be but the lessons are enough to leave you breathless.
📚 OVERALL RATING 📚
I have decided to give it a 4.5 ofcourse! It is highly recommended. Kuddos to the author for creating an amazing book with a heartwarming message. I hope a lot of readers would take a glimpse and appreciate its beauty and meaning.
📚 CONCLUSION 📚
We should always treasure the people around us who are exerting a lot of effort in order to make us happy. People get tired, we can never expect them to always understand us so I think we should make them feel loved and cared for. Let us not be one of the reasons why a person may suffer depression, instead of overlooking and ignoring all the signs of suicide, let us all put the pieces of the puzzle together and do something different. We can always help. Oftentimes people are afraid and ashamed to ask for assistance so we should be the one to offer it. Listening and giving your time to someone are the main keys to enlighten their perspective. I love Mr. Silverman’s character, he is indeed an angel in disguise. Let us all be a Herr Silverman to someone.