Annalisa's Reviews > Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
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's review
Jan 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: voice, young-adult, contemporary
Recommended to Annalisa by: Janessa
Read from March 15 to 17, 2011

Some 20 pages into the book I thought to myself, "I don't really care what this book is about and honestly the subject matter hasn't grabbed me yet, but I don't care. I would follow this girl anywhere." I love a good voice.

Vera is a high school senior grieving over her best friend's death, only at the time of his death, Charlie was her frenemy. It makes the grieving process a little harder when you hate and love the person at the same time, when you have so many unresolved issues that you'll never get answers to. Throw that on top of an already complicated life with a father who expects everything from her to avoid the pitfalls of his own life and a mother who abandoned her and Vera has a lot of conflicting emotions and decisions caving in on her.

As Vera tries to move on with her life, she can't quite get away from Charlie and the things that only she knows about his life and death. The story is weaved with her present life and the little tidbits of her past life she lets bleed into her consciousness. It isn't until she deals with the mess of her relationship with Charlie that we learn the circumstances of his betrayal. I cried for her. It is so hard to find characters in YA that are relatable and real and raw. Vera is definitely one of them.

The book is also scattered with POVs from her father (Ken), from Charlie, and from the town pagoda who's been around long enough to see pitfalls of the human condition. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Ken's chapters (although I always loved his flow charts) but ended up liking that contrast of perspective very much. I could see where he was coming from and I could see where Vera was coming from and appreciate both sides of the argument. It added to the complexity of the story and the characters.

The only thing that really bothered me was I didn't feel satisfied with the answers Charlie gave. He was a little bit of a drama queen about Vera helping him out but what he left as answers and explanations didn't quite add up to his level of anxiety. He had the opportunity for a grand gesture and it fell a little flat. (view spoiler)

In the end I was satisfied with Vera's story and closed the book smiling. That is the best feeling at the end of a book. It wasn't all better in the end, a bandaid to cover the gaping whole in her heart, but it was about coping and growing into the person she wanted to be. Most importantly, I was left with a sense of hope, which is all I wanted for Vera in the first place.
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Reading Progress

03/17/2011 page 336
100.0% "I love a good voice. I'm going to savor this one for a few days."
06/22/2016 marked as: read

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