Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Title: Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Pub. Date: 10.12.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keyword: Friendship, Love, Family, Death, Grief, Forgiveness, Secrets
Pages: 326
Description (from Goodreads):
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 adore this book… In fact, I read it at the very end of 2010, after I had already made a tentative list with my favorites of the year, then ended up revising the list to include A.S. King’s sophomore novel.

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ captured my attention from the first page. I recommend that you have ample time for reading if you plan to delve into this book because you’re going to lose all motivation to do anything other than get to the novel’s final page… But, if you have more willpower than me, make yourself get up out of your comfy chair and take your time with the Vera’s story… because as much as you’re going to want to know how the novel ends, you’re not going to want to leave Vera, her father, Charlie or any of the other characters behind. Savor this story if you or you’ll be itching to explore each page again. Oh, who am I kidding? You’re going to want to reread it regardless.

The novel is told primarily from Vera’s point-of-view, but every so often the viewpoint will switch to another narrator. Vera’s single father takes a turn or two, which I loved. So often parents are absent in YA lit, but in VERA DIETZ, King not only includes a parent, she gives him a voice. As a daughter, sometimes I wanted to shout out, “You’re going about that the wrong way, mister,” but there was an even greater part of me that wanted to hug Mr. Dietz,  then head home and hug my own father.

I’m fairly certain I was a bit in love with Charlie Kahn by the end of the novel, especially after reading the few short pages of his narration. Vera is confused and angry about Charlie’s actions and his untimely death, but it is so easy to understand why she loved him… as both a friend and, as much as she didn’t want to, romantically. I found myself wishing Charlie wasn’t gone or that time could somehow be turned back… for both Vera and Charlie sake. 

Vera is most definitely one of my all-time favorite narrators. She’s quirky, sarcastic, angry, destructive, and so very, very real. I still hear her words echoing through my mind, weeks after reading her story. Her voice is distinct and resonant… she’s one of those characters I’ll never forget.

Read PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ – you won’t regret it. With pages full of secrets, perfectly flawed characters, and a pagoda, you’ll quickly lose yourself in Vera’s story… and you won’t want to find your way out.

And be sure to check out the book trailer below…. it’s fantastic! The narrator sounds exactly how I imagine Vera to sound. Each time I watch the trailer I feel an urge to reread the novel!


12 thoughts on “Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

  1. I've heard lots of good things about this book before but I hadn't seen the trailer! I like the sound of the narrator's voice, great to hear that it fits her character. I've really got to read this one!

  2. Yeah, I think the toughest thing about reading this wonderful book was falling in love with Charlie myself, and then realizing there was no way to turn the clock back. I doubt I'll ever forget this book — and I'll never forget how short life is and carpe diem and all that stuff 🙂 Great, great read.

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVED this book! I absolutely loved being in Vera's head. She was a really great character…and I agree. Love Charlie! I could really feel her pain for his loss. Poor kid!

  4. I really liked this book too, although I thought the ending was a little anti-climatic. Charlie was a great character, but it was really sad all the horrible stuff he did to her. Vera was awesome though, probably one of the most realistic characters ever. Great review!

  5. THIS BOOK IS FIVE FEET FROM ME RIGHT NOW!!!! I must read! I'm so grateful to you and Miranda for recommending it, and am super excited to read it (particularly because it reminded Miranda a bit of my book. ;D)!-Madeleine, who is now inching closer to VERA…

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