Please Ignore Vera Dietz

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?

Title: Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
Pages: 336

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3 Responses

  1. Impressive. You must read this.

  2. One of my favorites this year – glad to see others are finally reading it!!

  3. This is a book that will endure. Like Perks of Being a Wallflower it speaks to the universal truths of being young. No, not everyone loses their best friend to a mysterious death, but everyone knows what it is like to feel helpless, to feel alone, abandoned and utterly betrayed. While Please Ignore Vera Dietz definitely has a mystery element about it, ultimately this is a story about what it takes to save oneself.

    Vera Dietz is a wonderful protagonist. She is spirited, wry and intelligent. Yet she’s vulnerable and makes mistakes. In fact all of the characters were distinct. While King doesn’t develop every character’s story, it is clear that these people are human beings with their own histories. The story is mostly told through Vera’s point of view and she’s smart enough to recognize how events and environment can affect a person, erode them even. I appreciated that the novel began with Charlie’s funeral because I loved him right away and would have pinned all my hopes on him being saved. Knowing his fate from the get-go let me set that aside and focus on Vera. I mentioned before that the story is told mostly through Vera’s point of view. However, there are a few changes in POV and a good amount of flashbacks in which Vera gives us “history.” I don’t often love shifts in time or POV because it can be confusing or sometimes a crutch or indulgence on the author’s part. With this novel, however, every flashback and every “interruption” by another character is clearly defined by the chapter headings and vital to the story in both plot and mood. They added the perfect amount of levity and perspective. I was especially delighted by the pagoda’s point of view and Vera’s father’s flowcharts for life.

    A.S. King most certainly has her own distinctive style and voice and I would definitely put this book right up there with Looking For Alaska and Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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