Number of Pages: 336
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 1, 2010
“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?”
Please Ignore Vera Dietz was quite different from what I initially expected it to be. Its serious subject matter and dark undertones are from the light, fluffy story lines I had originally pictured in my mind. For some reason I thought this would be a lighter contemporary read, but it thoroughly surprised me with its brutal honesty.
A.S. King does a great job of capturing nearly all aspects of teenage life. Vera embodies many of the feelings teens experience every day: the frustration of having to simultaneously deal with school, work, and friends, the confusion and rush of first love, the tension between parents and children, the stress of not knowing what to do with the rest of your life. Vera Dietz is a normal girl going through some really tough emotional times, and yet she tells the story with such personality that it’s actually sort of inspiring. Here is Vera, whose best friend died because of something she chose to ignore, yet she is doing her best to get through it. She does experience some pretty crazy visions and make some questionable choices along the way, but it’s understandable considering her situation. Even though Vera and I live very different lives I could still really connect with her, which is something I really appreciate in literature.
I had some mixed emotions towards the story itself, but as a whole I did enjoy it. Vera’s visions of Charlie confused me at times and a few parts were rather slow, but for the most part the story was interesting and excellently told. Probably my favorite character is Vera’s dad- his personality is so realistic and flawed that he almost seems like an actual human being. He’s witty and has an intriguing past that fills him in and makes him appear as a fuller image in my mind. Moreover, the plot had several twists and turns and I was never quite sure about where it would ultimately end up. The ending was satisfying yet still open-ended, which is always a good thing.
Overall, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a great read, especially for teens in high school who are experiencing some of the things that Vera is also going through. This novel does a great job of tackling dark topics like death, divorce, domestic abuse, etc. while still maintaining a witty, sarcastic voice throughout. A.S. King really made me think while reading this book, not only about the story but about my own life as well.
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes! But I would say that you should probably be in high school to read this if the serious topics mentioned above at all bother you.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Are there any other books by A.S. King that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!