Loved the Idea of this book.
I think there were many side tangents that were not important to the story and just didn’t seem to fit (and quite frankly distracted me from the main point of the novel). They just seemed to be thrown into the story (i.e. the war in Iraq, the sexual abuse, the one incident where Leonard was crying, the choking incident, shoplifting, etc). I also was disappointed with the ending. It almost seemed as if the ending of the book was missing .
I did notice on good reads that ‘Absolute Brightness’ was previously released as a much longer book with a different cover titled ‘The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey’. So I imagine the edition I read maybe a reedited edition.
If this novel was structured differently, I really think this would be an amazing book. I was torn between giving it three and a half or four stars but ended up giving it four, because of the amazing character development.
Phoebe, who is the younger of Leonard’s cousins, tells the story from her point of view. Phoebe, in true teenager fashion, is initially annoyed by Leonard’s presence but she and Leonard soon become close friends.
Leonard also endears himself to the community of elderly clients that come to his aunts home hair salon. So when Leonard suddenly goes missing, the whole town of Neptune, New Jersey is devastated.
The premise of ‘Absolute Brightness’ is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I did love the main outline of the story and Leonard as a character was amazing.