My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Death
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?
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is the book that kick-started A.S. King’s career as a writer. I can see why it won a Printz award. Having read seven books from this author, I can safely say that she’s a YA writer you’ll want to check out if you need dept in your reads and like a little obscurity.
What makes this author stand out from the dozens of thousands other YA authors is her creative and touching inclusion of magical realism at unexpected places. I say touching because those magical realism elements are usually powerful in terms of emotions and serve a strong purpose to the plot by affecting the characters, thus pushing them to ponder their problems and ultimately come to terms with different issues.
Having said that and though I acknowledge A.S. King’s beautiful lyrical writing, she isn’t one to go straight to the point. She likes to go round and round exploring layers of surfaces before going back to the beginning to reveal the truth. It’s good to be three-dimensional for sure…. But basically, she can be repetitive. Unfortunately, this is why I couldn’t like this more. I normally read her books in one day, but with this one—and believe me I’ve wanted to read it for months—I had no problem putting it down for another book.
This book deals, among other things, with the death of a former best friend. Charlie and Vera have known each other since they were toddlers, but adolescence has affected the both of them in similar and yet such different ways that they’ve lost each other. And then Charlie dies and Vera doesn’t know how to feel. Should she tell the truth about his death or take revenge on him? I felt very connected to Vera but less to Charlie, as his chapters are scarce and he is more of the love-to-hate type than the love-to-love one. However, it isn’t so simple. There is much to him that isn’t as it seems.
I don’t think you should ignore this book, even if it begs you to. Hehe.
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