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.
My thoughts: I didn’t look at too many reviews for this book, but it wasn’t hard to tell that a lot of people loved it. I saw it online and decided to buy it. I had no intention of reading it anytime soon. But once it got to my house, it called out to me and I had to read it. Looking back, it’s so amazing that I started 2010 with Paper Towns (a favorite!) by John Green, and ended 2010 with Please Ignore Vera Dietz (another favorite). Initially with King switching from past to present, and giving people like Vera’s father their own chapter, I was concerned it wouldn’t flow. But everything worked, from Vera’s father’s flow charts, to the talking pagoda, and transitions from past to present. King successfully goes back and forth between past and present, even though I initially thought it was a bad idea. Sometimes I’d finish a chapter based in the past only to find that the next chapter was also set in the past. At first I thought, “No, this is too much of the past, I’ll get tired of it pretty soon.” But then she’d reveal something important and startling, and I’d say a quick sorry in regards to assuming King couldn’t write a good past tense chapter.
Seeing as how this has now been deemed one of my favorite books, you’d think it would be happier. It’s not. It’s sad and depressing with humor sprinkled in between, but so are little sections of our life. Of course, having a dead best friend that wasn’t even a friend let along best friend before he died doesn’t make you want to sing Glee songs while skipping down the road (lol I don’t know where that image came from). Especially when you find out, as you read that the situation was much worse than you imagined. Until the very end of the story I saw myself go from “that sucks,” to “ok that really sucks,” to “Vera you deserve better cause he’s a douchebag.” But there’s this version of Charlie (her dead bff) that she sees, which at times seems wrong and at other times seems like it represents his potential or former self. And through Vera’s point of view, it’s very easy to understand both the love and hate she feels for Charlie, even if it’s at the same time.
There are so many things Vera has to deal with. There’s her relationship with Charlie, her Dad, or just herself. She has so much she has to deal with, that you eventually forget about Charlie, not that he becomes less prevalent. He just becomes a thing that is so constant; his presence just becomes a part of Vera’s background. It’s interesting how a book about death is actually about living. Through all her trials, Vera is forced to deal with her problems. Acceptance and growth are a huge part of this story, and it’s these kinds of aspects that helps make this book one of my favorite books!
Random great thing about this book: The freakin pagoda gets its own chapters! How cool is that?!!