For our YA pick in February we wanted to read something that didn’t have a heavy emphasis on romance, so we picked Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. We were right that there wasn’t any romance, but there sure was a lot of drama. This book about a boy who wants to kill his former best-friend, was definitely a heavy one, but not always what we expected.

We’re recommending some other books you might want to try if you liked Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and will leave some discussion questions at the end for when you’re going to talk about this with your own book club.

17332968Reality Boy
A.S. King

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is not as much a story about a school-shooting, but about a teenage boy on the edge of destruction. Reality Boy deals with similar issues, about parents making the wrong decisions for their children and how this affects them growing up.

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.


Reasons to Stay Alive
Matt Haig

Leonard is dealing with depression, even though he doesn’t seem to know it. Matt Haig writes from experience in his non-fiction work Reasons to Stay Alive, so for anyone looking for solace in writing, this is your book.

I want life. I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it. I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt. I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying.

Reasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn’t, how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. It’s also an upbeat, joyous and very funny exploration of how live better, love better, read better and feel more.

Discussion Questions:
– Who is asking for forgiveness in the title?
– What did you think of Quick’s experiments with the pages and the spacing of the text?
– Who in the book do you see as a victim? And who as the villain?
– Did you like Leonard and do you think he should be likable?

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