My rating: 4/5
Leonard Peacock is going to off himself on his birthday. But not before he gives his goodbye presents to the few people he appreciated and not before he takes his bully down with him.
This is a dark YA novel about depression, loneliness and neglect.
Leonard’s life is a sad one. His father ran away when he was young, and his mother doesn’t want to deal with him. He’s alone most of the time and doesn’t have any friends, except his old neighbor, Walt.
But, Leonard has a gun. It was his grandfather’s, from the war and know he carries it on his backpack.
The predominant reasons for why Leonard wants to die are that he’s tired of knowing that when he grows up he’ll end up like the zombie-looking- men -with-suits from the train station that go to work looking miserable and return home looking worse. He is tired of being his mother’s obstacle in life and he is tired of Asher, his bully (there is much more going on than just being targeted by him; another reason for why Leonard wants to kill him.) But most importantly, he’s afraid that nothing will get better.
One of the things I appreciated the most about the story is that Leonard didn’t sound self pitying, or melodramatic; he sounded disappointed. People keep letting him down, one after the other. Even though the signs were there, the majority failed to notice this struggling teenager screaming for help.
“I’m trying to let him know what I’m about to do. I’m hoping he can save me, even though I realize he can’t.”
One of the most common signs of suicidal people is giving things away for no reason. However, each character Leonard gifted with something played a big part in his life, a mostly good part of it. As he goes to gift these people, we learn about their relationship and why are they so important to him. But also what he expects from them and how almost all of them fail to notice.
This story, talks about the importance teachers have in their students’ lives. How they serve as inspiration even if they don’t know it. Some teachers are there to help guide students not only in the academical aspect, but in life as a whole.
Teachers can save lives.
“I got to thinking that the world would be a better place if they gave medals to great teachers rather than just soldiers who kill their enemies in wars.”
The best thing from this book is that in between chapters we get letters, from people Leonard doesn’t know yet from the future. People that depend on him to be happy.
They show how things change for the better, but we should endure the hardships first before the good starts showing up. Because, it only gets worse before it gets better.
These were powerful letters that tore my heat apart; because, I couldn’t help imagine how people that have committed suicide would never do all these wonderful things because they didn’t believe it was possible or that it even mattered at the moment.
This story takes us trough a journey, in which we discover how much society, including family, can poison someone’s life until they break. Because having someone as family doesn’t mean they won’t hurt you intentionally; and we should cut loose from those toxic relationships before they create any more damage.
Overall, this is a life changing book that contributes so much to Young Adult literature.
This is the type of book that should lead the industry, because of the impact it creates, not only on people going through Leonard’s situation; but people of all ages and situations.