Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Review

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Published: August 13th, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown

Pages: 288

Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

This was such an emotional read that I enjoyed every second of.

This was my first book by Mathew Quick, and I will definitely be reading more from him soon. He writes about mental illness in such a realistic way and because of that, I think that everybody needs to read this book.

I found myself on such a rollercoaster ride of emotions as I was reading. There were times that I laughed and times that I cried throughout the book. The main character is very relatable in his emotions of growing up and becoming an adult, but I also loved that the author did not skirt around his mental illness and just make him seem misunderstood. He was actually very sick and did and said strange things that portrayed that well. I loved everyone of the side characters as well and thought they were all well developed.

The book is written over the course of one day, but the author does a great job at providing a lot of back story through footnotes. At first I thought the long footnotes were odd and would detract from the story, but they actually added a lot to the story and I loved them. I also loved how the author went back and forth in time but did it in a way that was never confusing and the story flowed really well. The only complaint that I have about the book is that I wish it had answered more questions. I was left wondering what happened next and wish that the author would have continued the story a little bit more, but I did enjoy the book overall.

Every single teenager should read this book. I think that it would very helpful for anyone that is depressed and/or lonely since it depicts those feelings so well. It is also a great book for anyone overall since it can provide a deeper understanding of mental illness and what to look out for in other people.

4 Stars / 5 Stars

 

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Carry On Book Review

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Published: October 6th, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffith

 Pages: 522

Synopsis:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My Thoughts:

Carry On was such a big disappointment for me.

I read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl when it first came out and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to read more of her work, but this ultimately fell flat for me. I love Rainbow Rowell as a contemporary author, but her take on fantasy was just not for me. Although I loved the world in the book and how Rowell incorporated different popular fandoms in the book, I could not get into the story.

One of the biggest problems I had was the different perspectives. Instead of getting new information from each character and adding to the plot, I found that the multiple perspectives just made the book repetitive. One character would explain a piece of the world or an event that happened and then a little bit later another character would explain the exact same thing in detail. It was very annoying and I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over throughout the book.

The story itself was also very slow and confusing. The first three quarters of the book was excruciatingly slow and nothing really happened. The events that did take place were either insignificant or drawn out. Because of this I found myself not caring what happened at all. Then, in the last quarter of the book, everything happens and then nothing is really explained. I finished the book utterly confused and not really knowing or understanding what had just taken place.

I highly recommend everyone to read all of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one was ultimately not for me. I was really looking forward to this one and am so sad that I did not like it.

2 Stars / 5 Stars

 

Read Bottom Up Book Review

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

Publisher: Dey Street Books

Published: April 7th, 2015

Pages: 256

Synopsis:

A charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age—the never-before-seen full story

Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening. Flirtation—online—ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.

And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends who are a mere click away.

Madeline and Elliot’s relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other, and, of course, with their best friends and dubious confidants (Emily and David). The result is a brand-new kind of modern romantic comedy, in format, in content, and even in creation—the authors exchanged e-mails in real time, blind to each other’s side conversations. You will nod in appreciation and roll your eyes in recognition; you’ll learn a thing or two about how the other half approaches a new relationship . . . and you will cheer for an unexpected ending that just might restore your faith in falling in love, twenty-first-century style.

My Thoughts:

This book was so much fun to read! When I picked this book up it was on a whim, and I did not realize until I started reading it that the book is told completely through texts and emails. I haven’t ever read a book like that before, so it was a fun and new experience for me. Even though it is told just through the texts and emails, the writing is amazing.

The conversations between all of the characters are witty and also very realistic. The main aspect of the book that I loved the most was the friendships. Even though this is centered on a love story, the friendships are where it’s at. The authors really depict how modern couples rely heavily on their friends to help them analyze everything their romantic interest says and does. Reading the conversations I felt like I was talking to my own friends, and I can not say enough how fun it was to read. The whole story is just a very real and entertaining depiction of modern couples, and I do not think it could have been done any better. It is also a very quick read, and so is perfect for if you are going to the beach or need a good book for traveling. Also, even though it is kind of a love story, I think it is perfect for all genders. Overall I recommend this book to everyone looking for a fun and quick read.

Rating:

4 Stars / 5 Stars

Animal Farm Book Review

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Publisher: NAL

Published: August 17th, 1945

Pages: 102

Synopsis:

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

My Thoughts:

I decided to pick up this book since I had heard really great things about it, but had never read it. I know that many people are assigned this in high school, but I never was. I am so happy I picked this up, though. This book completely blew me away and just left me a feeling of wonderment. The story is a satire based on when Stalin came into power, and how everything slowly started to go downhill for all of the people not in power. The book really showed how some people were easily tricked into believing what they were told, and also how some just did not know how to fight back against it. It is a very short story but I engaged the whole time and a lot does happen. It is just such a profound book that I think everyone should read, no matter their age. I don’t want to give too much away since it is short, but I absolutely loved everything about this book and recommend everyone to read it. This is now one of my favorites and I will definitely be reading more from George Orwell soon.

Rating:

5 Stars / 5 Stars

The Distance from A to Z Book Review

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: January 12th, 2016

Pages: 352

Synopsis: 

Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

My Thoughts:

This book has such a great premise that just sounds fun and entertaining, which is why I decided to pick it up. The story does start off well, but I just found way too many flaws with it. First off, I did not like the main character. The main reason why is that she judged people quickly and harshly over the stupidest things. Also, the relationships between the characters were just odd. Some of the relationships formed too quickly and strongly to be realistic, while others had crazy ups and downs that also did not make any sense. I was also very confused the whole time since there were so many plot holes in the story and questions that just never got answered. Even the writing style seemed very immature to me and was not enjoyable.

Although these things did bother me, there were a few things about the book that I did like. I really loved the whole french speaking aspect of the book, and I also did like some of the side characters. These are the two things that made me finish reading the book, but just over all I did not enjoy this read and would not recommend it.

Rating:

1 Star / 5 Stars