Although ultimately a I am still kind of confused about so many things, and b I wish the secondary character, Charlie, had narrated instead of Vera There was a reason Charlie was such a bright blazing sun He came from endless cold, black space I couldn t sleep after finishing Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
I gave up on trying to untangle my emotional reaction from my critical thoughts, all hopelessly snarled together with lingering question marks, and just lay staring into the dark The story refused to seep quietly into my consciousness, to be filed away neatly into a mental catalogue good writing, interesting characters, believable dialogue etc, etc Instead, it kept twisting around in my mind, scenes replaying and looping Possible interpretations were bound up messily in my own personal experiences and beliefs Vera, Charlie, Ken, Jenny they were characters, but I realised that over the course of the book they had become real to me And their stories wouldn t let me sleep How much of who we are is unconsciously pre determined I don t mean this in a destiny or fate sense Rather, how much of us is shaped by genetics, deeply hardwired into our blood and bones and minds How much by the environment we live in everyday, the people who surround us And how much by our beliefs the things we hold to be so fundamentally true about ourselves that they become in effect self fulfilling prophecies Do we write our own futures by making the choice to accept certain assumptions or opinions of others, without questioning whether in fact they are true I couldn t stop wondering about Vera and Charlie s friendship and why it played out the way it did As the story unfolds through a series of viewpoints, flashbacks, flowcharts and interludes from a talking pagoda, there is a growing sense of inevitability Each part of the story, each event, each nail Charlie s coffin, to be blunt, almost seems to be set in inexorable motion by the events immediately preceding, by the choices the characters make And yet how much of this might have been different if someone spoke up, if someone changed their mind, if someone decided not to believe the thing they d been told all their lives Would Vera and Charlie s lives and relationship have taken a different path Or was this outcome always bound to happen, by virtue of persistent human nature At the end, I was overwhelmed with sadness for all of them And yet I still felt a sincere appreciation for this story, a love for it because it was so honest and real Because few books manage to convey how very possible it is to love someone and hate them all at the same time, for the people closest to us to inflict the worst kind of pain Prose wise, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is effortless to read Thematically, it s not The voices, particularly Vera s, are exceptionally genuine and I found myself connecting to her much than I expected I would While she is a mostly undemonstrative character, choosing to lay low and will attention away from her, the raw pain and conflict is palpable in her words The sadness bleeds through, leaching from a well of betrayal, abandonment, misunderstanding and hurt And so, for all six years she s been gone, I have 337 to show for having a mother Dad says that thirty seven bucks is good interest He doesn t see the irony in that Needless to say, I really loved the writing in this book it was poignant without pretention, emotive without being heavy Because with Charlie, nothing was ever easy Everything was windswept and octagonal and finger combed Everything was difficult and odd, and the theme songs all had minor chords For a story that tackles death, abuse and alcoholism amongst other things, for the most part King takes a remarkably even handed approach that feels open and not gratuitous There are some other messages view spoiler around pet ownership hide spoiler 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 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 SPOILER FREE REVIEW Please Ignore Vera Dietz is the book that kick started A.
S King s career as a writer I can see why it won a Printz award Having read seven books from this author, I can safely say that she s a YA writer you ll want to check out if you need dept in your reads and like a little obscurity What makes this author stand out from the dozens of thousands other YA authors is her creative and touching inclusion of magical realism at unexpected places I say touching because those magical realism elements are usually powerful in terms of emotions and serve a strong purpose to the plot by affecting the characters, thus pushing them to ponder their problems and ultimately come to terms with different issues Having said that and though I acknowledge A.
S King s beautiful lyrical writing, she isn t one to go straight to the point She likes to go round and round exploring layers of surfaces before going back to the beginning to reveal the truth It s good to be three dimensional for sure But basically, she can be repetitive Unfortunately, this is why I couldn t like this I normally read her books in one day, but with this one and believe me I ve wanted to read it for months I had no problem putting it down for another book This book deals, among other things, with the death of a former best friend Charlie and Vera have known each other since they were toddlers, but adolescence has affected the both of them in similar and yet such different ways that they ve lost each other And then Charlie dies and Vera doesn t know how to feel Should she tell the truth about his death or take revenge on him I felt very connected to Vera but less to Charlie, as his chapters are scarce and he is of the love to hate type than the love to love one However, it isn t so simple There is much to him that isn t as it seems I don t think you should ignore this book, even if it begs you to Hehe Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin Talk about a heartbreak I ll have to read at least TEN predictable, fluffy, instalovish, lovetrianglish light hearted books to recover from this one The main voice is Vera s, an 18 y.
o student pizza deliverer who lives alone with her father and whose best friend Charlie has just died We don t really know how or why, nor do we know why Vera seems to be so royally pissed at himLet me tell you if you think your best friend dying is a bitch, try your best friend dying after he screws you over It s a bitch like no other If you ve read Suicide Notes and if you haven t, shame on you then you ll recognize the narrative strategy in the revealing flashbacks We are introduced to the story when the main events have already taken place, in this case Charlie s death, and we are completely left in the dark about the motives.
Through a reconstruction of often terrible memories and revelations we gradually discover the circumstances and the truth This is not a book that aims at making you feel better about yourself or society or that will leave you with a happy feeling in your heart This is a testament to bad parenting, bad choices, bad environment, bad genes and the struggle of a girl to try to prove them all wrong It s a book where the main characters, Charlie, Vera, Ken are portrayed in all shades of grey, where there is no absolute good or bad well, except for Jenny and Ken s mother who are the essence of evil At some point or another, I got angry with all of them in turns and then tearfully forgave them all I felt for Ken, Vera s Dad, a man whose best was never enough and who was never taught to love I felt for Vera, because it is not easy to grow up in a situation where you are the product of your messed up parents and have to bear their cross on your back your whole life But most of all, I felt for Charlie, because he s the one who couldn t escape his very messed up situation He didn t make it, I felt like he couldn t make it and he made all the wrong choices, victim of his low self esteem, self loathing and poor judgement And as far as choices go, I keep on thinking would none of that have happened or maybe not tragically so if Vera had chosen to tell the truth from the beginning Or would it have been different had Vera s parents not turned their head the other way and taught Vera to ignore, no matter what This book certainly raises some ethical questions which are, at the same time, both obvious AND controversial Honesty and altruism should be social givens but they seem to go against the trend, at least in this society The book is not a 5 star for me for mainly two reasons I didn t like how the Vera Dad relationship got dealt with in the end You don t solve deeply rooted family problems by going to see a shrink FOUR times and by role playing once You just don t The ending felt so out of place in respect to the general tone of the book that it felt like I was suddenly reading another book I didn t like the gratuitous propaganda against having a pet Especially from the pagoda s side I don t need to be reminded that the food I buy for my puppy could feed a starving child I mean, it could be true, but this is not the place On the same note, I didn t like the presence of a skinhead guy to represent the bad, crazy guy It just felt superfluous and judgmental Those were two instances where the author tried to feed us a piece of her mind which I didn t want.
Nevertheless Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a fantastic book I recommend to everybody It s raw, shocking and so heart breaking that it makes you look at your kids with different eyes, in my opinion.
Vera Dietz is a good person This book is like watching Vera in the gallows being pelted with tomatoes until she is finally released to go on her way Her lifelong best friend Charlie just passed away under somewhat mysterious circumstances, the town blames him for something which tarnishes his reputation, and Vera is being harassed by some of her schoolmates The thing about Vera, and I absolutely loved her as a character, is that she just deals with it She is angry with Charlie, she hates him and she loves him and she realizes it is possible to feel both of those feelings at the same time She resents all the choices that he made that led up to his death and she resents herself for not doing something to help him Vera s father has been raising her as a single dad since his wife skipped town The narration, which skips between Vera, her father, Charlie, and even a town architectural landmark, lets us know that the main characters are all worried about being foregone conclusions Are we all destined to be like our parents or what everyone tells us we ll become I truly hope not, not because my parents aren t lovely people but because that would be a sad state of affairs Vera s father Ken struggles with Vera drinking because he is an alcoholic Vera worries about becoming like her absent mother Charlie worried about becoming an abuser like his father We all worry about something I can absolutely see why this book was a Printz Honor pick Vera s voice is very matter of fact but her contemplations and commentary were funny at times, poignant at others, and she keeps a level head for almost the entire book She deals with her missteps while still trying to figure out how to grieve for her best friend who was mostly lost to her even before he died I m reading another book right now where someone has just passed away Minding Frankie and a character talks about that saying that a person remembered through memories or mentions is never truly gone Or how Jacob Coote tells Josie Alibrandi that he dealt with his mother s death by crying at the memories until one day, he could smile or laugh at them Looking for Alibrandi This book takes place before Vera has come to terms with the loss but by the end, it was clear that she was no longer using a band aid to cover up a gaping wound Please Ignore Vera Dietz was very successful in audio format The narrator s Vera was perfect and I appreciated the fact that male narrators pitched in for the points in the story not narrated by Vera I m curious whether the descriptions of flow charts in the narration were actually flow chart images in the book so maybe someone who knows can chime in with an answer I would absolutely recommend it in this format.
I m excited to check out A.
S King s upcoming Everybody Sees The Ants After reading a review that said it had similar themes, I m hoping that it will be sufficiently different but retain a similar tone This one was sad but weirdly hopeful It was about 4.
5 5 for me.
image error As seen on The ReadventurerSo, this novel just got awarded Printz Honor I guess I wasn t hyping it for nothing Please, fellow goodreaders, check this book out Let me just get this out of the way, I am glad I gave A.
S King another chance I liked her debut novel The Dust of 100 Dogs OK, for its creativity and originality, but I wasn t wowed by it Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a better, even though mainstream, YA novel I don t know how it happened, but I ve read quite a few YA books about death and grief over the last couple of months I Heart You, You Haunt Me, Revolution, Amy Roger s Epic Detour , however Please Ignore Vera Dietz is definitely the one I enjoyed the most Vera s long time childhood friend Charlie is dead She is hurt by his death, but her feelings are ambiguous Their relationship has been difficult and not always happy, maybe they even hated each other at some point They used to be so close and yet so separated by their preconceived notions that a romance between them would never work After all, they both have so much emotional baggage Vera has to work through many deliciously convoluted aspects of her friendship with Charlie in her mind to finally find peace with himPlease Ignore Vera Dietz is the kind of story I love to read the most in YA fiction It is not over burdened with romance, where a boy miraculously solves all heroine s problems, it is character driven Vera is a multi dimensional character, she has to face her past and deal with her mistakes and regrets in regard to Charlie Her grief is palpable, but not expressed in hysterical fits and throwing herself around in despair, like it often is in teen lit Vera s actions speak for it Her inner world is complex there are issues she has to deal with that add another layer to this already great story how can she live up to her father s expectations how can she get over her mother s abandonment how can she overcome her seemingly pre written destiny The I think about this novel, the I like it It is not as quirky as The Dust of 100 Dogs, there are no pirates, magic dust or doggy lessons, but it is unique in its own way I like that Zen Buddhism wisdom is added into the story There is a ghost who sheds some light on the events And there is the Pagoda with some opinions of her own It all works beautifully together As a whole, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is just one clever novel P.
S Who knew pizza delivery business was such a dangerous occupation I will absolutely never, under any circumstances, do it, knowing now that there are people who open their doors to delivery people with no pants on and in full alert.
This is my second book from A.
S King, and by far the strongest First she managed to perfectly capture the essence of grief indeed it s rarely devoid of anger blind, unfair anger we almost never see pictured in books and that explains partly why I could connect so strongly People don t warn you how mad you are when someone you love die Sadness you expect, but anger No, and it s a shame really, because you can t think clear and guilt is never far You think you shouldn t be angry You think there s a problem with you, somehow Don t This is realistic fiction at its finest, that is to say, raw and painful and crazy and beautiful See, I m not stranger to grief, and yet, or because of it books that deal with grief often piss me off so much that I ve been delaying reading Vera s story for than a year now I should have trusted my friends, because this story is nothing like the others I read before What I have a hard time to stand in that kind of books is the purposeful way the death of a loved one is often used It s as if they would make us believe that we only lose people we love to find our destiny or some shit Fuck that Sorry guys, I m a down to earth bitch sorry mum, I tried A.
S King adds so many anecdotes that made me pause and think, oh, yes, that The way you can t help but imagine how it goes, under the earth, even if you know you shouldn t The way you find yourself speaking alone or consider completely impossible things Your mind is reeling, but truth is, sometimes there s no answers Sometimes you have to go on to find them, and here lies the beauty of Vera s story.
The story is organized with chapters alternating between Vera s life in present time after Charlie, her best friend, died and flashbacks where we come to see how their relationship evolved during their childhood and their adolescence All the events intricate perfectly and I found the way the story was written really wonderful because everything made sense We think we know where the story is going, but as in real life, the journey is important than anything here And little by little, we realize that we didn t really know what to expect in fact This story surprised me If you re not new to A.
S King, you know that she is likely to insert a paranormal side in her stories If the dreams bothered me a little in Everybody Sees the Ants, I have to say that it worked perfectly here But then, this is Charlie, and I may be partial I don t care.
Both main characters are unlikeable and yet so endearing I loved them fiercely First of all, Charlie Aw, Charlie, what a fucked up you were What a bunch of self loathing, devil may care charm, unforgettable male lead you are I m warning you here you won t agree with everything he did or said, but you won t be able to stop yourself from loving him I couldn t You won t be able to stop yourself from hating him, either He s messed up, an asshole, and his actions made me want to slap him really sometimes But the important is, his flaws aren t romanticized We re never served some crappy romance crap where unforgivable behavior is condoned It isn t As for Vera, the better way to express my feelings is to say that I could understand her she is flawed, broken, but strong and willing to do anything she can to go on and to refuse hypocrisy Yet she is judgmental She is delusional I won t deny any of that, but she sAs I already said countless times, I don t care about flaws if the characters are multi layered In the end, I really, really liked her because she was real and incredibly brave yet sometimes so scared This is reality, people We aren t adjectives but complex human beings She made mistakes, didn t act when she had to to protect the ones she loves, but she is aware of that Every fucking second of her life.
These characters never failed to make me feel deeply, and I am amazed of the depth and complexity of the relationships pictured Vera and Charlie, Vera and her dad, Charlie and his parents nothing s useless, everything s three dimensional and kinda messed up I loved it How can we escape our destiny Can we, really What of self fulfilling prophecies See, when I was in College I worked a lot about that kind of things because our self confidence is also linked to our teachers remarks, for better or for worse and this is something I really care about That s why I found really interesting that A.
S King chose to deal with it, and in my opinion she did a great job showing that everything is always complicated than we think what part of our unconscious fights against the path we don t want to follow What part of the collective unconscious convinces us that we are going to repeat our parents , our background s mistakes whatever efforts we make How far goes the influence of others Should we ignore them So many characters in this book struggle against what they think are their destiny Vera, her father, Charlie I couldn t help but care for them, so, so much My only complaint would be that I would have loved for the story to contain other strong female characters I missed them Alright now, forget everything I wrote Just FORGET IT The truth, the real truth I cried like a fucking baby More and along the way, and it wasn t because some smart ass decided that cancer kids were hot or some shit It wasn t even because Charlie dies, because really, THAT S IN THE BLURB, ANNA No I cried out of rage, out of stupid decisions and SO MUCH WASTE I cried because I can t even count how many people Charlie reminded me I cried because FOR FUCK SAKE, CHARLIE I cried for Vera s dad I cried for all these kids who have no idea what they can do with their lives and I don t fucking care how lame that sounds I laughed, too A lot I m sure it counts somewhere To sum up, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an astounding book that kept me captive for real, I had to stop yesterday because it was 3am and ANNA YOU HAVE SCHOOL TOMORROW I thought about it all day long and jumped on the very first occasion to resume it Now, rare are the books that have such a great power on me I wasn t completely satisfied in the end, but who cares I wanted , but who cares Some revelations let me down, but who cares I m still immensely impressed bows For of my reviews, please visit