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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Publication Date: 10-12-10
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Vera Dietz is a young girl who works hard to make herself forgettable.  She doesn’t want to be noticed, but just wants to get through high school and move on in life.  Her best friend Charlie, has been found dead.  There is a lot of suspicion surrounding his death and he’s being blamed for a horrible incident at a pet store before his death.  Vera knows the truth surrounding that night, but hasn’t told anyone about it.

Now, she works delivering pizza and has a secret drinking problem that she’s keeping from her former alcoholic father.  Charlie is constantly making himself present in Vera’s life.  He is suffocating her in a way.  He wants her to tell the truth and is pushing her to do the right thing by causing her to see thousands of his images in front of her everywhere she goes.  Vera can’t decide whether to help her former friend or deal with it in her own way, using alcohol. 

The characters King created are very real and dynamic.  Vera is a young woman who feels everything although she tries not to.  She made some mistakes that she probably would regret, but it’s the life of a teenager.  Charlie is trying to help Vera out even though he’s gone.  He doesn’t want her to take the same paths in life that he chose, but rather live and do well. Vera’s father is a reformed alcoholic who feels like he can help everyone, yet he has never dealt with his own real problem of losing Vera’s mother who abandoned them when Vera was young.  Her father has worked towards raising Vera right, but is afraid for her future as well.  Vera has a lot of people who love her, and this story is one that shows how little changes in life can make all the difference.  The plot wasn’t that important, but the relationship between Charlie and Vera certainly was.  We get to see how their relationship grew and developed over the years, as well as what exactly happened to end that relationship and make Vera feel so hurt and betrayed. 

Overall, this is a great telling of friendship and relationships.  This books makes you realize how much relationships can change and people move-on.  It had some funny parts (mostly from the Pagoda), but was ultimately a thought-provoking novel.

1 comment:

Elise said...

I was blown away by this book. I loved it, and can't wait to read A.S. King's net one!