Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"'s Reviews > Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
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Meet Vera Dietz, precocious high school senior. She's a Smirnoff-swigging pizza delivery technician with a weakness for older men. But she's also a serious student with plans for college and a fondness for big vocabulary words. She doesn't always show the best judgment, but she has a responsible streak that seems to be missing in her peers.

Vera has issues--lots of issues--including abandonment by her mother, the hypocrisy of adults, and worst of all, the mysterious death a few months ago of her lifelong best friend Charlie Kahn. She and Charlie were on the outs when he died, so along with the loss, she battles her feelings of guilt and betrayal while sharing her memories of growing up with Charlie.

The most honest and realistic progression in the story is the way Vera comes to understand her dad as a complex human being rather than just a providing parent who sets limits for her. I think most of us can remember that step toward adulthood when we recognized that our parents might need something from us and we decided to offer it, whether it be encouragement, comfort, or just the confirmation that they did a good job raising us.

This story is probably best suited for older high school students, or even college freshmen if they can still relate. There are several adult themes in the book, including underage drinking, drug use, sex, wife-beating, and a vague but unsettling type of pedophilia. There's also liberal use of The Big F. This didn't bother me because I'm old enough to know that vulgarity doesn't make you cool, but it might be of concern to parents of teens.

If the author wanted to make this truly representative of the high school experience, she should have had the mean kids calling Vera "V.D. Girl." Teenagers (and lots of adults) are all over that kind of thing. Vera Dietz = V.D.

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Caroline (last edited Jul 09, 2012 10:52PM) (new)

Caroline Another book that doesn't feel my cup of tea, and another review that is absolutely brilliant. Love what you say about Vera and her dad.


Laura I liked that observation as well, and I'm so glad this earned a 4 from you. Oddly, I didn't notice the liberal use of the F-bomb. I think I was too caught up in the story, because that's by no means a common word in my little realm. Sadly, most kids hear this word so often, it's a joke. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.


Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Hi Chelsea, dear friend.

Thank you, Caroline. This is definitely not your cuppa. The father/daughter relationship was more interesting to me than the one that was supposed to be central, between Vera and Charlie.

Laura, I know kids hear (and use) the f-word all the time, but some parents like to shield their kids from that stuff when they can.


Laura I was (and am) one of those parents, so I appreciate the reference, believe me. I was just surprised I didn't notice it myself.


message 5: by Noran (new)

Noran Miss Pumkin I want to be a pizza technician!


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I wasn't a mean kid, but if she was at my school and i didnt like her I'd have called her Vera Ditz. Is that in the book anywhere?


Laura Nope, but that's a good one too lol.


Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Noran wrote: "I want to be a pizza technician!"

He he. I'd like to be the pizza quality technician. I'd have to taste each one to make sure it's up to snuff.


Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Rachel wrote: "I wasn't a mean kid, but if she was at my school and i didnt like her I'd have called her Vera Ditz. Is that in the book anywhere?"

The kids who pick on her mostly focus on the fact that her mother was a stripper, because they know that's what will hurt the most.


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