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Please Ignore Vera Dietz [Hardcover]

A.S. King
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 12, 2010 AWARDS: ALA: Youth Media Award Winners 2011

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?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Vera Dietz and her troubled neighbor, Charlie, were best friends since childhood until they started to fall for one another junior year and everything broke apart. Evil Jenny Flick decides that she wants Charlie and that Vera is in the way. When Jenny offers Charlie oral sex and he refuses, she broadcasts his secret about his father's domestic abuse to the whole school and blames Vera. In “retaliation,” Charlie reveals the fact that Vera's mother was a stripper before she deserted the family and then starts a perilous relationship with Jenny. In chapters that alternate scenes in the present with “history,” plus various points of view, Vera's story begins at Charlie's funeral where she hides the truth about Jenny's part in his death. It seesaws through her full-time job delivering pizzas while maintaining “A” grades, her upsetting relationship with Charlie, her conflicts with Jenny as well as her father, her romance with a 23-year-old coworker, and other complications. This oddly compelling page-turner is unfortunately rather flawed. When circumstances call for Vera to end her heavy drinking, she surprisingly just stops. Charlie's ghostly presence manifests itself through hard-to-imagine replications. The perspectives of Vera's father, dead Charlie, and the pagoda atop the town (yes, the pagoda speaks) minimally click. Vera's father's “flow charts” about dealing with life circumstances seem out of place. Yet, Vera is a strong character whom readers will root for throughout her ups and downs. Ultimately, this will be read by teens who like edgy contemporary books dealing with untimely teen death, such as Brooke Taylor's Undone (Walker, 2008) or Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill, 2007).–Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* High-school senior Vera never expects her ex-best friend, Charlie, to haunt her after he dies and beg her to clear his name of a horrible accusation surrounding his death. But does Vera want to help him after what he did to her? Charlie’s risky, compulsive behavior and brand-new bad-news pals proved to be his undoing, while Vera’s mantra was always Please Ignore Vera Dietz, as she strives, with Charlie’s help, to maintain a low profile and keep her family life private. But after Charlie betrayed her, it became impossible to fend off her classmates’ cruel attacks or isolate herself any longer. Vera’s struggle to put Charlie and his besmirched name behind her are at the crux of this witty, thought-provoking novel, but most memorable is the gorgeous unfurling of Vera’s relationship with her father. Chapters titled A Brief Word from Ken Dietz (Vera’s Dad) are surprising, heartfelt, and tragic; it’s through Ken that readers see how quickly alcohol and compromised decision making are destroying Vera’s carefully constructed existence. Father and daughter wade gingerly through long-concealed emotions about Vera’s mother’s leaving the family, creating the most powerful redemption story of the many found in King’s arresting tale. Although King’s characters turn into the people they’ve long fought to avoid becoming, they ultimately rise above their challenges, reflect, and move on. A worthy, well-crafted addition to any YA collection. Grades 10-12. --Courtney Jones

Product Details

  • Series: AWARDS: ALA: Youth Media Award Winners 2011
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375865861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375865862
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed REALITY BOY, LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories for adults, MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP.

After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives deep in the Pennsylvania woods with her husband and children. Look for Amy's piece in DEAR BULLY and in anthologies BREAK THESE RULES, LOSING IT, and INITIATION, coming 8/14. (And brace yourself for 2014's novel, GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.) Find more at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore Vera Dietz at your peril October 18, 2010
I'll keep this short.

I'm a middle-aged man who gave up on YA literature when he was a YA. Which was a long, long time ago.

But PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is the real deal. No glittery vampires. No baloney. Just real, live people with real, live problems. Like the ones I had when I was a YA myself. And like the ones you might have right now.

It's a book with heart, a book with soul.

It's a book that will endure.

Buy a copy right this minute, and help make sure that that happens.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew Me Away! October 16, 2010
I don't even know where to begin. Have you ever read a book that completely blew you away, but you knew you would never be able to put it into words? That's what this book did to me. I will never be able to do it justice with my measly little review. The entire time I was reading it I was trying to come up with words to use in my review, but I never had any! So what to say, what to say?...

Did you read The Dust of 100 Dogs? If you didn't, drop everything you are doing right now and go buy it! It was incredible. You have never read anything like it before, trust me! How does an author write a follow up that lives up to the extremely high expectations set by 100 Dogs? We should ask A.S. King, because she definitely did it.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about Vera Dietz, obviously. She's a little odd, but in a good way. She's dealing with the death of her ex-best friend, Charlie. She loved him. She hated him. She knows what happened the night he died, but can she find it in her to forgive him and clear his name?

Vera was such a fantastic protagonist! She was witty and smart, but she still did dumb things. She is a teenager so she is allowed a few dumb things. I connected with her instantly. My heart broke for her but she was unbelievable strong. She definitely held her own.
Her best friend Charlie is dead from the very beginning of the book, but you get glimpses of their relationship in the History chapters. I loved Charlie, and hated him. Just like Vera did. I wanted things to turn out differently for them, but obviously it couldn't because he was dead from page 1!

What makes this book so special? The writing! A.S. King has a way of telling you a story that will make you turn pages faster than you ever have before.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please don't ignore Vera Dietz January 4, 2011
Vera Dietz has spent her entire life putting out "please ignore Vera Dietz" signals and wrestling with what she believes is her fate to end up exactly like her parents--an alcoholic stripper. When her best friend since childhood, Charlie Kahn, dies unexpectedly, Vera knows how to clear his name of the crime associated with his death, but she's stuck. Still mad at him for betraying her months earlier, she stays quiet, trying to deal with his death, her resentment towards him, and her own fate.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a powerful, tragic, and surprisingly poignant book. The majority of the book is narrated by Vera, who is a real, flawed, and darkly humorous character with a voice that demands to be listened to. Her narrative alternates between the past and present, and every so often a chapter from the point of view of Charlie, Vera's father, or even the pagoda in their hometown shows up in surprisingly refreshing interludes. King provides an excellent balance between all of these points of view, and the different perspectives give this book another interesting layer as readers can see firsthand the troubles Vera's father faced in his life and the mistakes he doesn't want his daughter to repeat, and Charlie's own regrets. The issue of children "fated" to become their parents is dealt with well, and King realistically portrays the conflicts and temptations that Vera faces without sugarcoating anything. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is as much about Vera's struggle to forgive Charlie as it is about her reconciling her feelings about her mother's abandonment and finally opening up to her father. This is an unforgettable book about mistakes, second chances, redemption, and becoming your own person--please don't ignore Vera Dietz.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a phenomenal book. The writing is gorgeous--gritty, honest and raw and at the same time quirky, poetic and hilarious--and Vera herself is a bright and beautifully complicated character whose story will break your heart in the best possible way. A brilliant and powerful story about love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption...and of course, pizza delivery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor and read this book! January 1, 2011
Vera Dietz has quite a life. Her parents got married young and for all the wrong reasons. Her mother left several years ago and her father's answer to everything is work. Vera is a senior in high school and has a full time job delivering pizzas. Vera has been best friends with her neighbor Charlie for years - she loves him and knows all of his deepest, darkest secrets.

Charlie turns his back on Vera and starts to run with a different crowd. When he dies under suspicious circumstances, it's up to Vera to clear his name, but can she get over her hurt to do it?

I adored Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King! The story is so creative - it's told from Vera's point of view, but occasionally switches to "brief words" from the dead guy (Charlie), the Pagoda (a local landmark) and Ken, Vera's dad. It's a unique way to tell a story, and in some instances, I might find it a little odd, but it really works with this book.

Vera is a fabulous character. She's smart, irreverent, mature, and hard working. She's a good kid who just wants to get out of high school in one piece. When rumors start to fly, she says:

"While I quietly hoped it would all go away and sent my old PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ signals into the atmosphere, the rumor grew."

Vera hopes to stay out of all the drama of high school but finds it impossible when Charlie dies. Now she has to figure out what she should do.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz touches on some serious topics with a touch of humor, so it would make a wonderful book to discuss with teens. Do yourself a favor, and read this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I found this book slow at first but as soon as I got into it I couldn't put it down!
Published 1 day ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for YA Book readers
It was a great read, I think. Definitely kept me entertained and wanting to read more. I even got a few laughs out of it! Would recommend this book to YA book readers :)
Published 12 days ago by Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars YA that doesn't dumb things down...
I recently subscribed to Book Riot's Quarterly mailing, and this book was included. I'm not a big fan of YA, but the theory behind the subscription is that great books come in all... Read more
Published 13 days ago by SE Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I liked it. Quick read and not the stuff i normally read but i enjoyed it. The author is very down to earth and really hits the hardest parts about being a teen.
Published 25 days ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars must read!!!
long story short,best book iv ever read. i cant sum up i 100 words how brilliant this book is. i highly recommend this book.
Published 26 days ago by Sandra Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
I only feel like the end is missing something. You'll see when you read it. Great change of self story.
Published 1 month ago by L. Bello
3.0 out of 5 stars good lesson book
A teenage girl is coping with the death of her child hood boy friend.
Her whole life she was told to ignore certain aspects of her life or things she seen. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars 5-Star For Sure
This is really an exceptional novel. I think it should be required reading for every parent, teacher, and teenager! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Harry Allagee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Kept me interested. A little confusing if you dont read chapter titles. Great young adult novel and keeps you thinking and on your toes.
Published 1 month ago by Bbevis
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a great novel about friendship, enemies, tragedy, guilt and secret romance.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex
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