Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Details: Hardcover, 326 pgs.
Published: Oct. 12th, 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers 
isbn: 0375865861 (ISBN13: 9780375865862)
Reading Level: Young Adult

Received from: Borrowed from my wonderful friend Lori!
Description:

Starred in: Kirkus Reviews, PW, Booklist and highlighted in Voya.
A Junior Library Guild selection, BFYA nom & Quick Picks nom.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 Best Books for Teens: Contemporary Novels

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?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

My Thoughts:
I heard amazing, unbelievable things about this book so I had high expectations.  Was I let down?  No, I wasn’t!  I have to say that maybe it wasn’t as over the top amazing as I had thought it might be but I still enjoyed this book immensely.

I read Dust of 100 Dogs last year and it was on my favorites list.  I loved that her writing was unconventional and her story completely unique and different.  A.S. King thinks outside the box.  WAY outside the box.  And I love that.  Reading about vampires and werewolves and Angels and all that is fun.  And contemporary is great, but things start to get old.  Finding something new, something refreshing really hits the spot sometimes.  And although this really focuses on some serious issues it still has funny and isn’t all depressing.

Vera is a great character.  She’s real and she see’s things quite clearly.  But she’s not perfect.  She makes some of the stupid mistakes that teenagers make, but yet she’s still a bit smarter then a lot of teens and is determined to do better then others.   I thought she really was brilliant in so many things that ran through her head.  Things that the average person doesn’t think about. 

This book is a bit of a mystery.  See we don’t know what happened to Charlie.  We know he died.  But as the story unfolds and as we get shots into Vera’s past we piece things together.  I really was very curious about how everything went down and that really kept the pages turning. 

This book also has some emotional times.  Times when I wanted to scream at Vera to do something!  Or to not do something.  It was almost hard to sit by and watch things unfold when things could have been a bit different. 
This is a book that I think most everyone can relate to in some way or another.  In people we knew, in our own parents, in the town we grew up in.  A.S. King managed to make this book so it is relate-able to most everyone.  Not in every way, but in things here and there we can completely understand.  And for teenagers reading this, yes, they will understand so much! 
A.S. brought up some things that teenagers deal with everyday.  She put it into a story and just made it be there, all real like, without glamorizing it and with showing us the consequences and keeping it all REAL.  I think that’s a hard balance.  Some books just feel like drinking, having sex and doing drugs is glamorized because we don’t see the repercussions.  Or when we do we don’t really feel like it’s real.  It’s hard to connect with.  Not this book.  It all felt real to me.  From Vera drinking randomly, to the stoners she worked with, to the things that Vera and her father chose to ignore (example: the neighbor who beat his wife).  Everything just came out so well that I think A.S. did an excellent job at staying real and showing us the other options in life.  
I think I actually like this book more the more I think about it after finishing it.
I give it 4/5 moons.

You can find A.S. King on her website | Blog

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Disclosure: I received this book from a friend to read.  The opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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Comments

  1. Darn! I still haven’t read Dust of 100 Dogs. I heard it was good. And now I have to add this to my TBR list. Reading the description makes me also think different, a new kind of read which I love. I had just read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma and found that she is also an author who knows what she’s doing. Knows the world and the way children and teens think. It was so emotional and brilliant! so yea, this is definitely going to my TBR list.

  2. What a fantastic review! I feel like such a loser, because I haven’t read anything by A.S King yet, and based on your review mentioning that her work is ‘refreshing’ I’ll probably love it.

    Excellent review. Really thorough and balanced. Vera seems like a great character, and this is mosdef a novel for my tbr!

  3. i so want to read some a.s. king. she seems to be one of the few authors out there who can capture real teen emotions without glossing over them. and i love those kind of authors.
    great review!

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