Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Published: April 10th, 2010 (Ember)
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½
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?
Sometimes I just really need to read a book that is mostly or purely character driven. In terms of events in this book, there isn't that much happening. Sure, there are things hiding underneath the surface, but nothing major is witnessed during the span of this novel. Vera is trying to come to terms with her best friend's death and what happened to lead up to his passing. While this may sound a bit odd and quite possibly a bit morbid, I loved experiencing Vera's grief. It was so heart-felt and realistically and well-written that I felt like I was experiencing it with her.
Even though the rational part in your brain tells you that you should under no circumstances like Charlie, you can't help but do exactly that. Somehow, you feel what Vera feels and that is exactly the magic I felt while reading this book. It's not that Charlie is such a massive douchebag when you compare him to other male characters in books, but you know what liking him isn't right when you see how he treated Vera at points.
The writing in this book is magnificent. This was my first A.S. King book and I know that it will definitely not be my last. A.S. King does not tell you what to think or feel, you are made to actually experience those feelings and to convey that with words is difficult, but Please Ignore Vera Dietz really hit all the right buttons with that.
The book has a bit of a slow start, but it's a bit like a diesel.. Once it gets going, it really gets going. It's taking you on a rollercoaster of feels. And you're going to enjoy it.
While I was writing this review, I was looking at the rating I wrote down for it and got confused a bit. Surely I should rate it higher than four stars if it resonated this much with me? So I upped it to 4.5 stars. The reason this isn't a 5 star book for me, even though it was magnificent, is that some of Vera's decisions were so, well, stupid. While I understand that she is overtaken by grief and all other feelings, some of her decisions didn't make sense at all and that didn't sit well with me. Yes, I am aware that I am nitpicking here.
Having said all that, everything else in this book was fantastic and I really think you should read it. Right now.