Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock vs. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick are two very dark, compelling novels with extremely different plots. The former is a dystopian thriller and the latter an emotionally intense realistic fiction novel.
Holly Black creates a terrifying world in her novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown where a mother infected by the vampire infection can turn against her own daughter when thirsty for blood. Vampires are both feared and awed, as they are in many traditional vampire stories. Unlike many paranormal novels, this one is chilling and bloody with a unique, steadfast heroine named Tana. The story is wildly imaginative and richly detailed with memorable characters, which creates quite the page-turner.
From the other end of the YA spectrum we have a realistic fiction novel, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Matthew Quick writes stories with some unforgettable characters, Leonard Peacock being one of them. He is a loner and an outcast who sees himself as worthless. The entire story takes place in one day, in the tortured mind of a self-loathing, darkly humorous boy on his eighteenth birthday. The story moves quickly, is tense and heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful. Quick is a master at using internal dialogue to create a cold and distant character who we eventually see as a troubled, uncertain boy who just needs someone who understands what he is going through.
While The Coldest Girl in Coldtown will be a favorite amongst fans of suspenseful, paranormal thrillers, for me, I have to go with the darkly humorous Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Leonard’s problems are more relatable and even though he isn’t always proactive and he makes bad decisions, his story will still resonate with readers. The book will make you feel angry, and frustrated, and disturbed, and yet still hopeful. That is the indication of a novel worth reading. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a story that you will keep thinking about long after you’ve finished reading.
WINNER: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick