Knopf, 326 pages
"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."
I've been seeing this book all over the place. The only thing I knew was that it was contemporary fiction, and I've been on this contemporary fiction kick lately so I thought, hey, might as well read it. And this is another book I probably won't forget. The characters were so developed and Vera's voice was loud and clear.
Vera's best friend Charlie has died and she's not just upset that he died, she actually kind of hates him, but loves him at the same time. She's mad at a dead person, and while it seems cruel, Vera's forgiving qualities made me enjoy hearing more of what she had to say. The more I thought about the book, the more I realized how much drama is actually going on. So, Vera's mother is absent after taking off to Vegas with a man that's not Vera's father. And Vera's father, he used to be an alcoholic. Charlie's father is abusive and Vera knows, but her father says to ignore it. He is always telling her to ignore it, and this is what Vera doesn't understand.
This book, I felt, is mainly about closure. It is about coming to terms with life and being able to move on and feel okay about it. Vera is struggling over Charlie's death. Mainly because of up until he died, he treated Vera like crap. And the other part is something Vera knows but keeps quiet about. In school, Vera is trying her best to stay invisible. She has a love for vocabulary and is a very smart girl. She isn't very popular, but she doesn't care about that sort of thing anyway. I absolutely loved Vera because of her voice in the book. She's very spunky and interesting to read about.
Written in four different perspectives, I felt as if I really got to understand the story. Vera, Vera's father, Charlie (the dead kid), and the Pagoda (a building near Vera's house) all have their own part. I loved getting to hear their own specific point of view. It really unravels the story quite simply.
The writing in this book was terrific. A.S. King truly captures the situation Vera is in and her personality shines throughout.
The plot had me hooked. We don't know how Charlie died, but we do know it has something to do with Jenny (a person Vera despised). I just had to keep on reading to find out how it ended and I was amazed. King is a very smart writer and I want to read more novels by her.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz has flawed, realistic characters and I was surprised by how much I loved this book. Contemporary fiction is becoming a favorite of mine and the story King is able to tell and how she tells it, was a wonderful experience. I recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary fiction, or anyone in general! It was an awesome read!!
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!