Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
I defy anyone to read this book and not absolutely love the main character, Vera Dietz! Vera goes through school working to be under the radar of the other students as she can, hence the title. But then her best friend Charlie (who she’s been secretly in love with for years) dies under very mysterious circumstances, and she doesn’t know whether she should mourn him or be happy due to his betrayal of her six months ago. And his memory actually keeps haunting her in the form of paper-thin ghosts, which the reader isn’t sure if she really sees or not. In spite of all this, this book is actually hilarious, thanks to Vera’s snarky perspective and King’s great dialogue. Although Vera is the primary narrator, we also hear from her father in chapters called “A Brief Word from Ken Dietz” and from Charlie from beyond the grave called “A Brief Word from the Dead Kid.” King makes it easy for readers to follow because even though much of the story is told in flashback, slowly shedding light on Vera and Charlie’s lifelong relationship and his betrayal, she labels the flashback chapters as “History,” which Vera’s age at the time of the chapter.
I have to say that this is by far my favorite book so far this school year. I found Vera so realistic I couldn’t help but identify with her, as her secrets of life unfolded in front of me. I highly recommend this book to ALL readers.