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.All I have to say is "Please Ignore Vera Dietz," you let me down. You let me down hard. I usually don't write about books I really didn't like, but apparently the magnitude of my disappointment has made me a little more whiny than usual. So here we go.
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 was so excited to read "Please Ignore Vera Dietz," by A.S. King. It was one of the Printz Honor books for 2011, and I've had really good experiences (aka I fell in love) with Printz books in the past ("Jellicoe Road," "The Book Thief," "I am the Messenger," "How I Live Now" . . . all fantastic). The summary even sounded like my kind of story--the kind of book that makes me giddy with its promise of depth, character development, and self-actualization.
But the book fell completely flat for me--and believe me, I was trying my hardest to like it. It's just . . . there was zero character development: Vera is a good girl who *minor spoilers* starts drinking and hallucinating a lot then stops drinking and decides to clear her friend's name. The end. *end spoilers* She really never changes at all. Plus, Vera was not exactly the most exciting person to be stuck with for 336 pages--she never came to life as a character and wasn't easy to connect with. You never really get inside her head.
There were some redeeming qualities to the book, though. Vera's developing relationship with her dad, for instance. And her friend Charlie--who even though he's dead, manages to be a more interesting character than Vera.
This book just made me grrrr. So really, if you want a book much better at dealing with death, read "The Sky is Everywhere"; if you want a book about revealing secrets, read "Thirteen Reasons Why"; and if you want a book with character change, read "Before I Fall."