Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

by A. S. King

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375865640
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 115,651
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.74(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

A.S. King is the award-winning author of young adult books including Reality Boy, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, and The Dust of 100 Dogs. She has visited hundreds of schools to talk about empowerment, self-reliance and self-awareness. Find more at www.as-king.com.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Kirkus Reviews, starred review, September 15, 2010:
"A harrowing but ultimately redemptive tale of adolescent angst gone awry. Vera and Charlie are lifelong buddies whose relationship is sundered by high school and hormones; by the start of their senior year, the once-inseparable pair is estranged. In the aftermath of Charlie’s sudden death, Vera is set adrift by grief, guilt and the uncomfortable realization that the people closest to her are still, in crucial ways, strangers. As with King’s first novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs (2009), this is chilling and challenging stuff, but her prose here is richly detailed and wryly observant. The story unfolds through authentic dialogue and a nonlinear narrative that shifts fluidly among Vera’s present perspective, flashbacks that illuminate the tragedies she’s endured, brief and often humorous interpolations from “the dead kid,” Vera’s father and even the hilltop pagoda that overlooks their dead-end Pennsylvania town. The author depicts the journey to overcome a legacy of poverty, violence, addiction and ignorance as an arduous one, but Vera’s path glimmers with grace and hope." (Fiction. 14 & up)

Publishers Weekly, starred review, October 11, 2010:
"Beginning with the funeral of Charlie Kahn, high school senior Vera's neighbor and former best friend, this chilling and darkly comedic novel offers a gradual unfolding of secrets about the troubled teenagers, their families, and their town. Though Charlie's death hangs heavily over Vera, she has the road ahead mapped out: pay her way through community college with her job delivering pizza while living "cheap" in her father's house. But first she has to face her fractured relationship with her father, a recovering alcoholic who worries about her drinking; the absence of her mother, who left six years earlier; and the knowledge that she could clear Charlie's suspected guilt in a crime. Vera is the primary narrator, though her father, Charlie (posthumously), and even the town's landmark pagoda contribute interludes as King (The Dust of 100 Dogs) shows how shame and silence can have risky—sometimes deadly—consequences. The book is deeply suspenseful and profoundly human as Vera, haunted by memories of Charlie and how their friendship disintegrated, struggles to find the courage to combat destructive forces, save herself, and bring justice to light." Ages 13–up. (Oct.)

Booklist, starred review, November 15, 2010:
"High-school senior Vera never expects her ex-best friend, Charlie, to haunt her after he dies, begging her to clear his name of a horrible accusation surrounding his death. But does Vera want to help him after what he did to her? Charlie’s risky, compulsive behavior and brand-new bad-news pals proved to be his undoing, while Vera’s mantra was always “Please Ignore Vera Dietz,” as she strives, with Charlie’s help, to keep a secret about her family private. But when Charlie betrays her, it is impossible to fend off her classmates’ cruel attacks or isolate herself any longer. Vera’s struggle to put Charlie and his besmirched name behind her are at the crux of this witty, thought-provoking novel, but nothing compares to the gorgeous unfurling of Vera’s relationship with her father. Chapters titled “A Brief Word from Ken Dietz (Vera’s Dad)” are surprising, heartfelt, and tragic; it’s through Ken that readers see how quickly alcohol and compromised decision-making are destroying Vera’s carefully constructed existence. Father and daughter wade gingerly through long-concealed emotions about Vera’s mother’s leaving the family, which proves to be the most powerful redemption story of the many found in King’s arresting tale. Watching characters turn into the people they’ve long fought to avoid becoming is painful, but seeing them rise above it, reflect, and move on makes this title a worthy addition to any YA collection."

The Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books, review, November 2010:
"The death of a best friend is hard enough, but for high-school senior Vera Dietz, her reaction to the death of Charlie Kahn is complicated by the fact that in the last few months he’d dumped her for the druggie pack at school, especially tough-girl Jenny. Flashbacks and compact commentary from Charlie himself, from Vera’s straitlaced dad, and from an omniscient local landmark interweave with Vera’s current narration, painting the picture of Vera and Charlie’s close friendship and its recent souring and revealing that Vera is the guilty and troubled possessor of many secrets about her late friend. King offers a perceptive exploration of a particular kind of friendship, one where one friend is undergoing agonies beyond the power of the other to help. Vera’s own troubles—her abandonment by her mother, the strictness and emotional evasion of her recovering-alcoholic father—get sympathetic treatment, but it’s clear that Vera is loved and cared for in a way that Charlie, stuck in a poisonous, abusive home, simply wasn’t. Yet it’s Vera’s life even more than Charlie’s that’s under scrutiny here, especially since Vera still has the possibility of making changes, both in her dealing with Charlie’s memory and in her ongoing relationships. The writing is emotional yet unfussy, and Vera’s tendency to see and perceive Charlie in every place and every thing is both effective and affecting. It’s not uncommon for the dysfunction in one friend’s life to start sowing seeds of doom for a friendship, and Vera’s poignant take on her double loss will resonate with many readers."

VOYA, review, November 2010:
"It is hard to describe how deeply affecting this story is. Vera and Charlie are both the victims of extremely bad parenting, but that only scratches the surface of the novel. The writing is phenomenal, the characters unforgettable. The narrative weaves through the past and present, mostly from Vera's viewpoint but with telling asides from other characters. There is so much in here for young people to think about, presented authentically and without filters: drinking and its consequences; the social hierarchy of high school; civic responsibilities; and teens' decisions to accept or reject what their parents pass down to them. It is a gut-wrenching tale about family, friendship, destiny, the meaning of words, and self-discovery. It will glow in the reader for a long time after the reading, just like the neon red pagoda that watches over Vera and her world." 

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 99 reviews.
TeenageVowInAParkingLot More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! I just had to know what happened! There was never a dull moment, and the beginning is so captivating. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is easily, one of the best books I've ever read in this genre. This book is edgy, witty, and the characters are awesome.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is the second novel by American author, A.S. King. We first meet Vera Dietz when she is almost eighteen, a Senior at High School and working forty hours a week as a Pizza Delivery Technician. Her ex-best friend-since-age-four, Charlie Kahn is just days dead, her mother left six years ago with the podiatrist, and the most suitable word Vera can find from her Vocab class to describe her accountant father is parsimonious. Even if Vera is still angry about the betrayal that ended their friendship five months earlier, she misses Charlie. How can she not when a thousand copies of him fill her dead space whenever she is alone? She knows he wants her to clear his name, but she’s not quite ready to do that yet. So she distracts herself with her attractive twenty-three-year-old co-worker at Pagoda Pizza, James; and, despite her father’s alcoholic history, with bottles of vodka. At school she sends out “please ignore Vera Dietz” vibes, trying to remain under the radar of one very toxic Jenny Flight and her Detentionhead loser friends, on whom she blames Charlie’s defection and death. The story of just what happened between Vera and Charlie is told through a split narrative: present day and seven years earlier, with occasional interjections by Ken Dietz (flow-charts a feature), the now-dead Charlie Kahn, and a local landmark, the Pagoda. King’s plot is wholly plausible, and her characters are familiar from any American town. King touches on domestic violence, sexual perversion, and teen alcoholism and drug use. King is skilled at portraying adolescent characters. Vera is likeable: her relationship with her father and with Charlie are a delight; her dilemmas and issues are realistic; and her strength and maturity are both surprising and gratifying. This reissue from Text Publishing has an eye-catching cover design by Imogen Stubbs. A moving and thought-provoking read.
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed the mystery behind this novel very much, I was less than pleased with the ending. King presents readers with the story of Vera and Charlie, two childhood friends who drift apart due to many different circumstances, but the main one, according to Vera, is his new set of friends and their drugs/alcohol. But there are so many different sides to Charlie and his life that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is it, and when he dies, there is much speculation. According to Vera, she knows the truth; she knows why Charlie died, what he was responsible for, and what others were responsible for. However, by the end, I felt it was still all a bit unclear. I really enjoyed Vera’s voice, but I still feel like I don’t know anything, and I’m not really sure that the story itself made much sense. I lost all respect for Charlie as the story went on—he’s a real jerk—and I just can’t get over the end, which isn’t an end at all. Charlie is dead, but why? We’re given an idea of what might have happened, but I’m not sure I believe it, and therefore, everything is still up in the air in my mind, which is unfortunate because the whole reason I picked up this novel was due to the mystery. I wanted to know what happened to Charlie. Now, while I enjoyed the novel overall, Charlie’s character, his actions, and that of his friends, really left me with a sour taste in my mouth, which is fine, but it was the lack of a conclusion that really made me lose much of my gumption over the story. Maybe I missed some vital sentence somewhere that spelled it out for me, but since Vera claims to know the truth, I really expected the truth, and not just another speculation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent goin the book on the nook but i'm reading it rite now and it has good spunk and i'm crazy hooked
k_j_9_7 More than 1 year ago
I read this when I checked it out from my school's library. It got off to a somewhat slow start, and it took me a while to get into it. Usually, I can read an entire book at school in a week, this one took me two or three. I really liked the story though, and the characters.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
Ever since her best friend Charlie died, Vera's had a hard time dealing with life. Wait, back up. Ever since Charlie ditched Vera for the detentionheads (and THEN died), Vera's had a hard time dealing with life. And her dad, the biggest proponent of the "just ignore it" philosophy, is slow to notice, or at least slow to show Vera that he's noticing. And somehow Vera is stuck living life as a full-time high school student/full-time pizza delivery technician. Even describing the book is a little confusing and wrapped up in itself. But King pulls it off in a way that only she can, by allowing the pagoda on the hill (yes, a building), Vera's dad, and Vera's dead best friend to all weigh in, along with Vera herself, on Vera's life. Through their joint narration, we get a glimpse of the real Vera (and the real Charlie and the real Vera's Dad). They're all flawed. There are no knights (or supernatural beings of your choice) in shining armor here. They're all just trying to make it through. Even Charlie, who is doing so from beyond the grave. Though this is part mystery (we know Charlie's dead, but we don't know how or why), part "issue" book (Vera drinks a lot, much to the concern of her recovering alcoholic dad), part dangerous relationship (1-Vera's crush is in his twenties. 2-the flashbacks contain a guy who wants to take grade school Vera and Charlie's pictures. 3-Vera is herself the product of a young high school romance gone wrong), it is mostly a darkly funny book about grief. Everyone, except maybe the pagoda, is grieving someone. It's the way that they each deal with their grief, Vera and Charlie over the loss of each other and their friendship, Vera and her dad over the abandonment by Vera's mom, that makes this such a compelling book. There is plenty of the weird, the funny, the snarkiness, and the romance to keep the book fun, but it is the way that Vera et. al. deal with the more serious aspects that made me care about them. It sounds all over the place, and I wish I could write a more coherent/convincing review. You'll just have to trust me that Please Ignore Vera Dietz is one that you really should pick up. Book source: Philly Free Library
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera's best friend Charlie is dead. For the last year, she has hated Charlie as he changed from the boy she grew up with into someone she barely knew and certainly didn't like. But now he is haunting her, pushing her to tell the truth about what she saw on the day he died.
samantha.nop on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera Dietz's best friend, Charlie, has just died. Vera is the only person who knows how, but she's afraid to say it. Vera goes along with her life, fighting with her father and having flashbacks of times with Charlie. Charlie was a kind of person who got in trouble all the time and used drugs. Vera wasn't like that, but she still wanted to be friends with Charlie. Vera starts to go crazy, she's seeing Charlie everywhere telling her to tell. She finally decides to tell her father. Vera is happy to tell and Charlie's ghost is finally resting in peace.I like this book. I like how the author showed us how much Vera was struggling with her secret. I can understand why Vera was so reluctant to tell anybody. Not very many people believed her, including her father. I think it's upsetting to know your parents won't believe anything you say because they think you're crazy. I think it's amazing how the author shows how much Vera changes each chapter, she becomes a better person. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes a sad, story but with a few laughs thrown in.
Jennanana on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Listened to the audiobook; narrator did a great job and kept my attention. She had kind of a snarky voice and fit the character. Vera's friend Charlie has died in a mysterious way, but we don't find out how until the end of the book. She lets on with small details and flashbacks until it all unravels at the end. Really great story about friendship and why you should let people know how you feel about them before it's too late.
ewyatt on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Charlie's ghost is haunting Vera, begging her to clear his name. Every so slowly the story is revealed through snips of events told from Vera in the past and present, Vera's dad Ken, Charlie, and even the pagoda. Some of the things that Vera and Charlie have experienced are heartbreaking. I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Although by the last third, it had me hooked and I wanted to figure out what happened to Charlie and what would happen for Vera to be able to move on with her life. While Vera frequently refuses to get involved which follows her family's practice, she grows to be conflicted about this practice.
zibilee on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
When Vera Dietz's best friend Charlie dies under mysterious circumstances, she is left bereft, angry and confused. You see, Vera is struggling with her feelings because in the months leading up to Charlie's death, things had changed drastically between them. Charlie had started to hang out with a different and more dangerous crowd and began to engage in some pretty risky behavior. He also began to feel negatively about Vera through no fault of her own. Not only is Vera dealing with the death of Charlie, she's trying to stay ahead in school while working a full time job as a pizza delivery technician and attempting to help her father in dealing with his bottled emotions. It's all just too much for her, and when she begins to see Charlie's ghost, who is trying to get her to uncover the secret of his death, Vera goes a little haywire. Now it's up to Vera to set things right and find a way to deal with her overcrowded and tumultuous life. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a serious yet charming read that tells the story of a young woman who is trying fix all the broken things in her life while still being true to herself.I was really excited to get the chance to read this book after reading Lenore's wonderful review. Lenore actually sent me her copy, and while I don't read much in the area of YA fiction, there was just something about this book that intrigued me. It was a pretty fast read and while I didn't love everything about it, it was certainly an interesting book that had me flipping the pages to find out just how the story would end.Vera is not your typical eighteen year old. She works full time, is doing well in school, and though she can be snarky at times, is a pretty well-adjusted person. Though she's dealing with the death of a friend whom she has conflicting emotions about, Vera doesn't end up in a severe funk and her downward spiral is more gradual and subdued. There are some problems with Vera though, and soon she begins to delve into alcohol abuse and starts to date an older man. Though Vera's voice on the page felt very real and organic, there were times I had trouble connecting with her. I think it was because she handled things in a very different way than I would have. I completely understood her anger towards Charlie, but at times, I felt that she was being unnecessarily stubborn when it came to dealing with the questions surrounding his death. In later sections of the book, Vera is moved to finally seek out answers, and when she does, those answers impact almost everyone around her.I liked the relationship that Vera had with her father, and could fully relate to it. Vera's father was more than a little overprotective, though he really didn't need to be. At times I felt he could be a little demanding, because it was his idea for Vera to hold down a full time job while going to school, which I felt put a lot of pressure on her. Though father and daughter argued at times, there was an unmistakable bond between them that was further cemented as the story moved forward. I think Vera's father was written in a very realistic way, for there are a lot of parents who feel like the only way to keep their children safe is to begin micromanaging their lives. Vera doesn't tell her father everything, and some of the things he discovers about his daughter shock him and make him angry. For the most part, the parent-child relationship rang true here, and though there was some resentment on Vera's part, she seemed like the kind of person who respected her father underneath it all.Reading about Charlie made me a little upset. As a child and teenager, he grew up in an abusive household and began to make some unwise decisions early on. His friendship with Vera seemed to be the one thing holding him in orbit, and when that was destroyed, he began to drift off into more and more dangerous situations. We've all had a friend like Charlie: Someone who is basically a good person but whose life is out of control and reckless. I think a lot of
pataustin on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Told her whole life to ignore uncomfortable circumstances, Vera Dietz has now done just that, ignoring to report what she knows about the night Charlie died. Vera Dietz has lost her best friend; only Charlie hasn¿t acted like her friend of late. Left to face Charlie¿s betrayal and the secrets that she¿s holding inside, Vera has a direct, practical, earnest voice ably portrayed by Houck. The audio version deepens the multiple-narrative texture as readers intermittently hear ¿brief words from the dead kid¿ and ¿brief words from Ken Dietz. Gesell paints Charlie through an internal monologue not so much as the rebel, free spirit that others perceive him to be but rather as a needy, tortured soul affected by his abusive father; Deakins as Dietz draws sharp parallels between generations and the problems all the characters face, evoking the many aspects of well-drawn characters and complicated relationships of this thought-provoking Printz Honor book.
crochetbunnii on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
While Please Ignore Vera Dietz deals with some very heavy issues of alcoholism and abuse, the overall message of losing a lifelong friend to peer pressure, bullying, and trying to find yourself shines through. I enjoyed reading this book and the satisfying end.
MeganGreen on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Reason: Vera Dietz is trying to become everything but her ex-stripper, runaway mother and loveless, lifeless accountant father. Vera is actually a normal seventeen year old, pizza delivery, high school outcast; until her best friend since childhood dies. Charlie Kahn is known as the messy, cigarette addict, who lives in his tree house and eats his notes. Upon Charlie's death Vera is faced with guilt. She feels guilty because she hated Charlie before his death and even though she misses him and couldn't help him or fix their friendship, she still hates him. But when Vera starts seeing Charlie's ghost she finds out what led to his death and is faced with uncovering the truth, even if it means going up against his crazy ex-girlfriend Jenny.Classroom Connection: I don't really know how a teacher could incorporate this book in their classroom since it is not really appropriate but if a teacher chose to, they could focus on the symbolism and metaphors throughout the story. Throughout the novel, A.S. King writes about paper planes and setting them free, Vera and her father setting themselves free of her mother, SIndy, and clearing Charlie's name from the disastrous Zimmerman's pet store accident. The teacher could also get the students to focus on how much Vera's character has changed and matured throughout the novel. They can focus on her relationships with different people and herself, her job, her schoolwork and collegiate future. Personal: I really enjoyed this book but would not suggest it for students in middle school or high school; this would be more of a book on the side, a "read for pleasure" novel. A.S. King was able to keep me both entertained and curious. I could not put the book down and finished it within two days. It is vulgar at times, awkward, funny, and scary; everything wrapped into one novel.
elissajanine on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
I liked the sparse voice and the exploration of the idea of teenagers making the same mistakes as their parents do--about their futures being controlled or destined through nature or nurture, and the conflict that would create in both Vera and Charlie. I liked the humor, the playfulness of the narrative, including the brief words from the dead kid and the pagoda. I also liked the way we kept getting more information about the Charlie mystery but without the sense of it being painfully and infuriatingly withheld from the reader. I think a few issues were glossed over a bit or simplified to keep with the tone and the pace, but overall, an enjoyable book.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera Dietz and Charlie Kahn are next door neighbors and best friends until things change...and then he's dead. Actually they love each other but for various reasons won't/can't tell each other.The unknown circumstances around Charlie's death and a fire set at Zimmerman's pet store set the stage for A.S. King's intriguing novel. Set in present day, it tracks Vera Dietz's actions after Charlie's death. But the story also backtracks through chapters entitled "History" which tell the story leading up to Charlie's death.It's a story of two best friends each with their own demons (Vera's mother was a stripper who ran away when Vera was 12; Charlie's father beats his mother) and how each dealt with the situation. It's a story about two friends drifting apart, a friendship irretreivably broken but where both people want it to return. It's a story about getting involved vs. sitting on the sidelines. In some books the writing overpowers and in some it's the story and the way it's told. Please Ignore Vera Dietz falls into the latter category. KIng has a great way to tell the story. Vera and Charlie are two unforgetable characters. So, please DON'T Ignore Vera Dietz.
DeanaDeere on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
I loved this book! Each chapter had a catchy title and was told either by a different character- including the town landmark- or at a different point in time. It was hard to read because up front you know that one of the main characters has died. It made me stay melancholy knowing nothing would become of the love interest between the two main characters. I highly recommend this book to anyone facing loss, parental abandonment, or bullying. The protagonist is a class-act.
MickyFine on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera Dietz's former best friend, Charlie, is dead and haunting her until she comes forward with the secrets she knows about his death. But her anger at him, at her emotionally distant father, at her mother who left when she was 12, and her basic instinct to just want to be ignored by most of the planet makes for a long internal struggle.While the content of this novel includes topics and themes not unusual in YA fiction, such as abuse, alcohol and drug use, sex, and relationships, it is stylistic approach that King takes that really makes the novel worth reading. While the majority of the novel is told from Vera's perspective, there are occasional chapters from three other perspectives: Charlie, Ken Dietz (Vera's dad), and the Pagoda (the large landmark in Vera's small town). These alternative viewpoints make the novel more interesting, providing insights into the major characters that surround Vera. Ken's flowcharts and the Pagoda's sarcasm are also just delightful in general. But while the mystery of the secrets Vera knows about Charlie's death, it is the discovery of why Vera and Charlie's relationship disintegrated that truly drives the novel and makes it worth reading. An intriguing exploration of relationships, identity, and destiny.
Ellen_Norton on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera Dietz¿s life is complicated to say the least. Her mother left her when she was twelve, and she is left to deal with adolescence with only her workaholic father for guidance. At least she has her best friend Charlie, until they go to high school and Charlie becomes popular and betrays her ultimate trust. Yet when Charlie dies in a freak accident, it is left up to Vera to figure out how to tell everyone the truth about his death and to clear his name, while learning to cope with the loss of her one true love and making peace with her father and her past. Written from Vera¿s viewpoint with alternating flashbacks and interjections from Mr. Dietz, Charlie, and the pagoda that sits above their town, this book tells a witty, compelling story of redemption and growth. Although it addresses difficult situations, such as addiction, untimely death, and complicated romance, the characters all portray very realistic and human emotions and nothing appears stock or glossed over. The dialogue, particularly between Vera and her father, is rich and believable, and the prose is wonderfully written and keeps the reader begging for more. When the story finally culminates, the reader can see the path that Vera is on, though difficult, is hopeful and real
jeannie.tucker on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
4Q, 4PThis book was my ebook choice (I read it on my Kindle), and it was pretty fantastic. A realistic female teenager, who isn't whiny or annoying? Yes, please! What a refreshing read. I think it would appeal most and almost exclusively to girls, though.
PattyLouise on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Please Ignore Vera DietzByA.S. KingVera Dietz is not an average teenager. She is being raised by her father. Her mother ran away and left both of them. And her best friend Charlie has just died. Not a spoiler¿this is stated in the book from the beginning. In fact the story begins with Charlie¿s funeral. Vera¿s father¿to say the least about him¿is sort of a relaxed hippie cheapskate. He is very frugal with money and insists that Vera get jobs as soon as she can. She has a variety of jobs but ends up being a pizza delivery person and working almost nightly. She likes being invisible at school. She loves her best friend Charlie. And she holds in herself the truth about the way Charlie died. She has been friends with Charlie since she and Charlie were four years old. She has lived next door to Charlie all of her life. And she holds secret all of Charlie¿s secrets¿ of which there are quite a few. The book has several narrators. Charlie ( the dead kid ) narrates, Vera narrates, Vera¿s dad narrates and even the pagoda that overlooks the town has a word or two to say. Everyone¿s faults and dysfunctions are clearly explained. While reading this book it was easy to see the mistakes that all of the characters were making. It was easy to understand the motives of the characters. It was easy to feel sympathy for almost everyone from the senior football star who did not know how to read to Jenny who gave herself freely to too many boys. It was achingly sad to see Vera turn away from Charlie as he got deeper and deeper into sex, drugs and rock and roll. It was agonizing yet mesmerizing to watch Vera slowly unravel as she worked through the issues which kept her from telling the truth about Charlie from the very beginning.I found this book to be compelling. It was charming and funny and sad and quirky. It was haunting. I highly recommend it.
spincerely on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Hard to put down from the moment you start!
amandacb on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
Vera¿s best friend, Charlie, has died¿five months after their friendship has fallen apart. Charlie comes to Vera in strange and sometimes enlightening visions, and Vera knows there is more to his death than what the authorities state.King takes us on Charlie and Vera¿s journey as they grew up together, struggling through Charlie¿s parent¿s abusive situation and Vera¿s mother leaving when she was twelve. When Charlie takes up with a rough crowd, Vera is left behind, working full-time and trying to stay below everyone¿s radar.King does a remarkable job of character sketching¿especially of Vera and Charlie. The other characters introduced in first person, Ken Dietz (Vera¿s dad) and The Pagoda (a piece of structure located in the town in which they all live), are not as fully fleshed out and can be somewhat distracting. Vera is wholly sympathetic and it is easy to become enmeshed in her thoughts and actions, even when they are infuriatingly teenage-like. While King does manage to drag out the mystery of Charlie¿s death perhaps a bit too much, the ending is fairly satisfactory.
perpetualpageturner on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
When Vera Dietz's ex-best friend and long-time crush dies unexpectedly under mysterious circumstances, she finds herself grappling with the love/hate relationship she had with him ever since he decided to betray her for a new group of friends, as well as the secrets that she's never told anyone--secrets that could potentially shed light on the circumstances that led to Charlie's death. Does she do what she's been conditioned to do and ignore the truth? Does she even care about making things right for Charlie's sake?This is me using awesome in a sentence. This book was all sorts of awesome. I felt like I read this book all in one massive breath. It was utterly impossible to put down and I needed to find out what happened to Vera and Charlie along the way that lead to the present circumstances. I loved everything about this book--the writing, the style, the characters, etc. The majority of the book was written from the perspective of Vera in the time after Charlie's death and flashbacks shedding light on what happened between Vera and Charlie. Throughout the book there are interjections from "the dead kid," Vera's dad and the Pagoda. At first I was skeptical when these parts showed up but they ended up working really well. I love when authors succeed in something so risky.This is me using authentic in a sentence.Vera is one of the most authentic and lovable characters I've encountered this year. I think I can say that with a degree of certainty. Vera is just your ordinary, small town girl who just wants to survive high school and figure out what she wants to do with her life---and find love along the way. She is smart, sassy and has a sense of humor that I appreciated. She thinks for herself and is certainly wise beyond her years yet her struggles ring true to the teenage experience. She isn't perfect---she struggles with figuring out who she wants to be and has her fair share of mistakes. You will find yourself just adoring Vera and wishing you could pop in the book and be her bff so that she doesn't have to go through everything alone. I loved the progression of her relationship between her and her dad. I felt that it was extremely real as dealing with grief and these hard issues in life really does change that kind of a relationship. I know first hand and thought King captured that really well.This is me using evocative in a sentence.A.S. King has written a powerful and evocative novel that deals delicately with grief, regrets and moving forward from the unfortunate things we are dealt in life. The regrets and guilt that Vera experiences are typical in any sort of grieving situation but are absolutely heart-wrenching in light of everything that has happened. The "what-ifs" and the questions can be crippling but the way Vera deals with everything makes her all the more lovable. I loved dialogue that happens throughout the novel that deals with being so conditioned to ignore things--abuse, neglect, homelessness--and Vera challenges that thinking of just turning your head the other way because nothing can be done about these things.My final thought: If you love contemporary YA, this should be on your to-be-read list. If you are a reader, like myself, who enjoys both adult fiction and YA--this should be one you pick up for sure. It is smart, powerful and completely gripping. You'll end up reading it in one breath like I found myself doing. It is truly unforgettable--I promise you that ignoring Vera Dietz will be near impossible.
PureImagination on LibraryThing 7 hours ago
I don't even know where to begin. Have you ever read a book that completely blew you away, but you knew you would never be able to put it into words? That's what this book did to me. I will never be able to do it justice with my measly little review. The entire time I was reading it I was trying to come up with words to use in my review, but I never had any! So what to say, what to say?...Did you read The Dust of 100 Dogs? If you didn't, drop everything you are doing right now and go buy it! It was incredible. You have never read anything like it before, trust me! How does an author write a follow up that lives up to the extremely high expectations set by 100 Dogs? We should ask A.S. King, because she definitely did it.Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about Vera Dietz, obviously. She's a little odd, but in a good way. She's dealing with the death of her ex-best friend, Charlie. She loved him. She hated him. She knows what happened the night he died, but can she find it in her to forgive him and clear his name?Vera was such a fantastic protagonist! She was witty and smart, but she still did dumb things. She is a teenager so she is allowed a few dumb things. I connected with her instantly. My heart broke for her but she was unbelievable strong. She definitely held her own.Her best friend Charlie is dead from the very beginning of the book, but you get glimpses of their relationship in the History chapters. I loved Charlie, and hated him. Just like Vera did. I wanted things to turn out differently for them, but obviously it couldn't because he was dead from page 1!What makes this book so special? The writing! A.S. King has a way of telling you a story that will make you turn pages faster than you ever have before. The story is beautifully complex without being over done. She weaves the mystery and questions in flawlessly, but you don't get impatient for answers because the path to get there is so engaging. None of it was predictable and I never lost interest. Not even for a few seconds. The chores went undone while reading this book!I must reiterate that this review doesn't do this book justice. Please, just read it and find out for yourself! Be prepared to read it in one sitting because it is addicting!