Title/Author: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Publisher/Year: Knopf — October 2010
How I Got This Books: I won it through a giveaway on Lenore’s blog! Yay!
Rating: 5 stars!
Good news! I’m hosting a giveaway for a personalized copy of this novel so you can read what could end up being one of your most memorable reads of 2010 AND figure out what was up with all the “this is me using x in a sentence” lines in my review.
When Vera Dietz’s ex-best friend and long-time crush dies unexpectedly under mysterious circumstances, she finds herself grappling with the love/hate relationship she had with him ever since he decided to betray her for a new group of friends, as well as the secrets that she’s never told anyone–secrets that could potentially shed light on the circumstances that led to Charlie’s death. Does she do what she’s been conditioned to do and ignore the truth? Does she even care about making things right for Charlie’s sake?
This is me using awesome in a sentence.
This book was all sorts of awesome. I felt like I read this book all in one massive breath. It was utterly impossible to put down and I needed to find out what happened to Vera and Charlie along the way that lead to the present circumstances. I loved everything about this book–the writing, the style, the characters, etc. The majority of the book was written from the perspective of Vera in the time after Charlie’s death and flashbacks shedding light on what happened between Vera and Charlie. Throughout the book there are interjections from “the dead kid,” Vera’s dad and the Pagoda. At first I was skeptical when these parts showed up but they ended up working really well. I love when authors succeed in something so risky.
This is me using authentic in a sentence.
Vera is one of the most authentic and lovable characters I’ve encountered this year. I think I can say that with a degree of certainty. Vera is just your ordinary, small town girl who just wants to survive high school and figure out what she wants to do with her life—and find love along the way. She is smart, sassy and has a sense of humor that I appreciated. She thinks for herself and is certainly wise beyond her years yet her struggles ring true to the teenage experience. She isn’t perfect—she struggles with figuring out who she wants to be and has her fair share of mistakes. You will find yourself just adoring Vera and wishing you could pop in the book and be her bff so that she doesn’t have to go through everything alone. I loved the progression of her relationship between her and her dad. I felt that it was extremely real as dealing with grief and these hard issues in life really does change that kind of a relationship. I know first hand and thought King captured that really well.
This is me using evocative in a sentence.
A.S. King has written a powerful and evocative novel that deals delicately with grief, regrets and moving forward from the unfortunate things we are dealt in life. The regrets and guilt that Vera experiences are typical in any sort of grieving situation but are absolutely heart-wrenching in light of everything that has happened. The “what-ifs” and the questions can be crippling but the way Vera deals with everything makes her all the more lovable. I loved dialogue that happens throughout the novel that deals with being so conditioned to ignore things–abuse, neglect, homelessness–and Vera challenges that thinking of just turning your head the other way because nothing can be done about these things.
My final thought: If you love contemporary YA, this should be on your to-be-read list. If you are a reader, like myself, who enjoys both adult fiction and YA–this should be one you pick up for sure. It is smart, powerful and completely gripping. You’ll end up reading it in one breath like I found myself doing. It is truly unforgettable–I promise you that ignoring Vera Dietz will be near impossible.