Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Unfortunately, it has been quite a while since I reviewed a book here.  It’s not that I haven’t been reading.  I certainly have been.  It’s just that life things have been catching up to me lately.  I’m busy at work, busy with my son, busy with the holidays, and am having a Crohn’s flare, which just saps my energy.  With that being said, now that the holidays are over, I fully intend to begin reviewing again.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King, is about an eighteen year old senior girl in an unnamed town in Pennsylvania (In reality, the town is Reading, Pennsylvania, where I happen to work).  The story focuses on Vera and her best friend, Charlie, who, we learn within the first page, has recently died.  There is an air of mystery around Charlie’s death, something to do with dead animals, and Vera knows more than she is saying.  This is ultimately a story about loss, grieving, and growing up.

Honestly, this is probably one of the best young adult books that I have read in a long time.  This happens to be the book that my supervisor in the Teen Department at the Reading Public Library has chosen to read for our novel club in April, so I thought I should see what it was all about.  I couldn’t put it down; I didn’t want to stop reading it until it was over and then I was sad to see it end.  Vera reminded me of me when I was her age: naive, quiet, usually responsible, but making more than her share of mistakes, and not sure what to expect in life and love.  She was thoroughly likeable, with a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor, which gave the entire book an aura of dark humor.  The book is told mostly through Vera’s eyes, but we occasionally hear from Vera’s dad, Ken, the dead kid, Charlie, and Reading’s wonderful landmark, the Pagoda.  Overall, I highly recommend this book.  Although it can be depressing at times, the story is beautiful and real.  I gave this one five stars!

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