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Random House LLC
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Please Ignore Vera Dietz Kindle Edition
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|Length: 337 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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My other major qualms with this book, were the characters felt like YA archetypes, and the rather boring plot. Charlie, The kid whose dad is abusive and does drugs. Vera, The girl who is seemingly apathetic about everything except for a troubled boy who gives her few reasons to love him. I'm not completely sure that any character felt unique. Maybe that's just a writer who understands she has to check certain boxes off when she creates characters. I'm not sure. But the most compelling character was Vera's dad, who seemed to give a damn about fixing his life and trying his best to deal with his situation. Vera wallows in her own misery, and suddenly rises like a phoenix for no reason at all, except to suddenly end a rather mundane narrative of pizza deliveries, pointless flashbacks, and interludes from a dead character.
Again, I had no issue with the writing. A.S. King is obviously exceptional in that regard. But it just felt like one long episode of an MTV teen drama. So many YA books deal with death and loss. And do with a much more deft touch, than throwing in an unnecessary paranormal element, and titillating the reader with a 'secret' that turns out to be something we could've figured out from the beginning if Vera simply decided to act sooner.
I really enjoyed Vera’s voice, but I still feel like I don’t know anything, and I’m not really sure that the story itself made much sense. I lost all respect for Charlie as the story went on—he’s a real jerk—and I just can’t get over the end, which isn’t an end at all. Charlie is dead, but why? We’re given an idea of what might have happened, but I’m not sure I believe it, and therefore, everything is still up in the air in my mind, which is unfortunate because the whole reason I picked up this novel was due to the mystery. I wanted to know what happened to Charlie. Now, while I enjoyed the novel overall, Charlie’s character, his actions, and that of his friends, really left me with a sour taste in my mouth, which is fine, but it was the lack of a conclusion that really made me lose much of my gumption over the story. Maybe I missed some vital sentence somewhere that spelled it out for me, but since Vera claims to know the truth, I really expected the truth, and not just another speculation.
When Charlie dies and is blamed for arson, Vera is overwhelmed with guilt. Her major case of the coulda-woulda-shoulda's is silenced, however, by an upbringing that taught her to bottle it up and fly under the radar. No matter what she encounters she holds onto it which sometimes threatens her safety and causes her dad to further doubt her sense of responsibility.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a young adult novel that accurately portrays the struggles of friendship, community and loss. I felt the greatest lesson to be learned in the novel was to talk about things with those you love and trust and develop a sense of community. If you witness something bad, consider what would happen if you did nothing about it. Consider the lives that could be affected outside of your own. Just because you can walk or drive away from something safely doesn't mean the next person will be so lucky.
Read along and experience the story of Vera as she comes to terms with the past, the present and the future. Watch her develop a sense of responsibility and self-respect as she comes to terms with the loss of Charlie and begins to understand her dad better.
Check out my other reviews at http://booksavants.blogspot.com
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