Sunday, February 23, 2014

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Review

Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316221337

288 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Matthew Quick has had a lot of heat since the film adaptation of Silver Linings Playbooks came out, and I was as eager as anyone to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

It's Leonard Peacock's eighteenth birthday and he plans to go to school and kill his former best friend and then commit suicide.

As the day progresses, we learn why Leonard has decided this is the best way to escape the loneliness and hopelessness of his shitty life. His self-absorbed Mom doesn't even remember it's his birthday, so he knows he's not going to get any presents, but he gives presents to four people he thinks of as friends, although he doesn't really have any friends.

These four people react to Leonard's gifts in different ways, including anger and suspicion. But one person, a teacher, realizes what Leonard's gift means. And that one person tries to give the gift of hope back to Leonard.

Although Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock can be bleak and intense, it is ultimately about hope. It is not a book for everyone, but it will be the book to make a difference to many.

I recommend Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock to readers who enjoyed Blankets by Craig Thompson or Winger by Andrew Smith.

Bonus Video: Matthew Quick introduces Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling Audiobook Review

Title: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling
Author: Maryrose Wood
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
Publisher: Books on Tape
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0307711229

Listening copy via Sync

I downloaded The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood last summer as part of Sync's audiobook promotion, and I finally got a chance to listen to this delightful novel.

The Mysterious Howling is the first in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, a rollicking good read for children through younger YA. Penelope Lumley is the fifteen year old governess from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and her first job is to teach three children who were literally raised by wolves until discovered by Lord Ashton and brought to Ashton Place. The children, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia, are given to howling at the moon, eating their food uncomfortably rare, and chasing squirrels.

But Miss Lumley has the pluck and good sense of a Swanburne girl to take on this challenge and make sure the children learn their manners and the proper use of a globe. The writing gives more than a nod to Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl, with winking prose that acknowledges the reader.

Narrator Katherine Kellgren admirably captures the essence of the different characters, whether it's the sensible Miss Lumley, the aristocratic Lady Ashton, or the wild Incorrigible children who punctuate their words with howls and growls.

Absolute fun from beginning to end!

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling Book Trailer


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