Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Vera Dietz would just like everyone to leave her alone. She’s spent most of her life keeping to herself so that no one will ever find out her most terrible secret, the one only her best friend Charlie knows: that her mom left when she was twelve and never came back—and that she supported herself as a stripper when Vera was a baby. She’s learned that playing it safe and turning off your feelings like her formerly alcoholic dad means you never get hurt. But now that Charlie has died, Vera discovers that she can’t hide anymore. Where ever she goes, Charlie’s there. He keeps showing up—at her pizza delivery job, in her car’s glove box, in the woods behind her house. Charlie has secrets too. Charlie needs to tell Vera something important about the night he died, and apologize for how he left things. But Vera doesn’t want to hear. So she stays out all night drinking vodka coolers. She begins making out with a cute college drop-out who’s way too old for her. But nothing drives Charlie’s ghost away. Soon she has no choice but to hear Charlie’s story and finally acknowledge his part in her life–and her part in his death. Author A.S. King uses dark humor to explore themes of alienation, intervention and socio-economic class in a whip-smart story that doesn’t tread over the same old “problem novel” ground. Although the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly for me and I wasn’t a huge fan of the talking pagoda (hard to explain, you’ll just have to read it) Vera (who I picture looking like April from Parks and Recreation) and Charlie’s characters were perfectly executed, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. And if that’s not enough for you, I think this book trailer gets the mocking, deadpan tone of the book just right. (John Green fans, this is a good in-betweener while you wait for next Alaska.)

3 thoughts on “Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

  1. I really loved Vera. She was to the world a good solid student and hard working girl. But she was a mess with missing Charlie, ignoring everything her father told her to, and trying to be invisible in school so no one would find out about her mom. I wish Charlie wasn’t such a guy, and it was sad they both cared about each other and didn’t know it. But a great read and one of my faves!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *