Monday, April 25, 2011

BR: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

by A.S. King

I was actually really eager to read this one, even before I found out it was a Printz Honour (I am now 4 for 5!) I just had a feeling about it ;)

Summary (goodreads)

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?

**
My Expectations: I expected nothing less than the best. Although I had never read King's other works, I had a gut feeling this one would be remarkable.
Delivery: Oh, it was wonderful.
Put-down-ability: 4/10
**

My Thoughts

Since I finished the book, I have been pondering with exactly what I wanted to say. I had a few metaphors floating around in my head, but I think this one describes it best: Please Ignore Vera Dietz is like a boyfriend. Okay... let me explain. There is so much to love about this boyfriend. It's alike a whirlwind romance, but then this boyfriend goes out and does something and you just want to tear your hair out and sob for days, but there’s still that unconditional love for him. That's my feelings about this book in a nutshell.

There is no doubt that this book is great. It has a (as it is quite a popular term) “spunky” protagonist, Vera, who has a mountain of issues and is driving full throttle through it. I loved her character and more specifically, the amazing relationships she had with others, whether it was the broken one with Charlie or the weird one with her father (oh hey Ken Dietz, you kind of rock). I thought all aspects of her various connections with other characters were extremely well developed and definitely helped me commit emotionally to her story.

I bet you’re wondering what I’m talking about with the ‘tear your hair out and sob for days’, right? Well.. it’s Charlie, the dead kid. I had a funny relationship with this book because he’s such an important piece to the story but it was like he was toying with my heartstrings. We’re basically in the honeymoon phase when Vera narrates the various flashbacks, but then I learn he’s done crappy things to hurt Vera (tear my hair out). When I found out the truth about him and how he died... well (sob for days).

Even though it’s ‘just a book’, I felt like shaking a fist and screaming “WHYYYYY, he’s got so much life ahead of him, why?? *sniff*” Then I went to anger: "God Charlie, why were you so stupid?!" So take this as a good sign because I was whipped, so to teen-speak.

The writing style and narration quickly sucked me into the story and as I was plunked down right in the middle of Vera’s disarrayed life, I was fascinated. I mean, she’s a pizza delivery technician (driver) with some pretty ohemgee horror stories (seriously). And she’s a smart girl. I like smart people in books.

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations / Outstanding
Recommended for: All YA fans, though especially to contemp fans looking for some more mature YA
Acknowledgements: 3/5

8.9/10 – oh, because I really loved it but there were just those little argh-inducing-Charlie-moments that made me sad and left me conflicted. Vera Dietz has climbed up my list of favourite female characters of 2011, and I thought she made mistakes and searched for redemption, along with trying to figure out her true path in life. I found myself relating to her (surprisingly) because I feel the insecurities and emotions were incredibly well done. The writing is impeccable (not really surprised, seeing it’s a Printz) and also, there are slightly-switchy POVs* which I loved (oh hey there, Pagoda, am I littering?).

Please Ignore Vera Dietz
is what I wish more contemporary YA novels are: emotionally honest, well written, and contains characters who deserve to tell their stories.







*sometimes the switching POVs work, sometimes they don't. This one definitely did :)

source: won in a contest from Steph Su
author twitter / blog

17 comments:

  1. Wow, looks very cool! Great review, thanks.

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  2. Whipped! LOL LOVE it! One of your best reviews to date my love. I have to get this book now!

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  3. Great review! Such an awesome book, right? I want Ken Dietz as a father.

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  4. Glad to hear that the switching POV's worked - it's so frustrating when they don't! Awesome review :D

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  5. Great review! I have had this one on my TBR pile for a while now and you've just pushed it up the list.

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  6. Pull at my heartstrings, why don't you. I get your metaphor perfectly, and it makes me anxious to read this one but also makes me feel like I'd rather wait. That last sentence in your review is a pretty strong statement to make

    Glad you are making your way through the Printz list. You're on fire.

    P.S. I agree about the POV switching sometimes working, sometimes not.

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  7. I really liked The Dust of 100 Dogs! I haven't read this one, but I'm sure I'll love it if it's anything like her other book :D

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  8. YYY - Hehe, it is! :)

    Aly- Haha, thank you hun, I hope you like it!

    Skye- YES ME TOOOOO!! Dear Ken, PLEASE ADOPT ME.

    Lea- I know what you mean, if it doesn't work, I ususally rant about how unnecessary it is, haha :P Thank you!

    Lissa- oh, thanks! I hope you like it :)

    Missie- Yay! Your comments always make me so happy :) I hope you'll like it, it's different but not really.. well, it's awesome :) thanks for the comment

    Lindsi- I really want to read it now! I've heard so many great things about it :)

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  9. Haha still haven't read this one but I REALLY want to. Love the boyfriend analogy! Too funny. XD

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  10. Brilliant review! Now I want this book bad. Sounds like my kind of contemp :)

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  11. Ahahhaa, what a great metaphor! Definitely attracted me :P
    And you've done it again, Audrey! Made me crave for this book so that I could read it! If it's as good as what you say, then it's right on my list of books to buy IMMEDIATELY! :D
    Thanks ;)

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  12. It's one of the best books I read in 2010 - and certainly the one with the most powerful effect on me.

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  13. Wait, what? He's dead??? :/ Gah, it sounds really good but i dont like reading books that make me cry!!!!

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  14. I still have to read this one, but I feel much less hesitant now after reading your review!

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  15. Julia- hehe, thank you!

    Nic- ooh, I hope you get to try it, I'd love to know what you think :)

    Justine- haha, thanks :D I do hope you try it!

    Sara- Ohh, yes, so memorable :) I'm glad it's had such a great effect on you.

    Cialina- I KNOW. Which just breaks my heart! I *sniffled*

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  16. I've heard great things about Please ignore Vera Dietz and now your great review. I feel my Visa calling to me :)

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  17. I love smart people and beautifully troubled books that make me feel both thrilled and depressed, yet...

    I couldn't get into this! My friend kept telling me I'd love it, but I couldn't get past page 30! I bought it, so I'll try again sometime soon. I was just sad I wasn't as enthralled as I expected. :/

    Thanks for the review! You've encouraged me to give VERA another try.

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DFTBA :)
for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*