Publisher: Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers (imprint of Random House)
Publication Date: 12th October, 2011
I've never read anything by AS King so didn't really have any expectations for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I didn't know much about the book except for a few glowing reviews I read on Goodreads written by some reviewers I loved. The verdict? Loved.
The last thing eighteen-year-old Vera Dietz expects is for her ex-best-friend, Charlie Kahn, to come back to her after he has died, hoping she will help him clear his name regarding a tragic situation that occurred around the time of his death. Vera's unsure if after everything that's happened surrounding her relationship with Charlie, she wants to give in to him.
I adored Vera. Sure, she had her faults and little insecurities, but she was written with such emotion and I thought her character was amazing. So much spunk and wit in this girl! Throughout the course of the novel, Vera matured and my broke for her and everything she experienced. And Charlie! I loved him! I hated him! Oh the DECISIONS! Charlie ditched Vera and betrayed her and hurt her and then he went and died but he also had the most beautiful personality and he loved Vera. That's what did it for me, that fact that he loved her. Hopeless romantic here, don't judge.
The story switched perspectives at times, so we got to see things from Vera's POV, Charlie's, Vera's dad Ken's, and then...the Pagoda, which is this place where people go to smoke and drink and like, litter. I think seeing the events in the book occur from Ken Dietz's eyes was my favourite. He's still not sure if he's over
Cindy Sindy (Vera's crazy mother) and he just wants to do the best for his daughter. And he's *lonely*. The little flow charts in his chapters were so awesome and helped made the book just that little bit more cooler.
The story was complex but simple at the same time, gritty, yet smooth and I thought that King put everything together flawlessly. Her writing was perfect and there wasn't a single moment where I felt like I wanted to put the book down, because it was so through-provoking and showed such depth. Ellen Hopkins said this first, but I'm going to say it again: Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a really special book. My (not-really-)review does not do it justice, and so I will ask you one favour: please don't ignore Vera Dietz. You won't regret it.
Oh, and another thing--parents in YA for the win! I thought it was great how the author not only gave Vera's father a role in the book, but she gave him a voice. He didn't stand back and watch Vera fall apart, but he actually went out and tried to help her.
"I wish we could go back in time and climb trees together again. I love you, Vera. I always will."