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Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
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Please Ignore Vera Dietz (2010)

by A.S. King (Author)

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7097213,323 (4.12)36
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Angsty, mysterious, dogged -- all the things I like in a YA novel. Our female protagonist is dealing with the death of a friend, delivering pizzas, living with her SAH father, and the onset of graduation. But all these details are methodically revealed throughout the novel through frequent flashbacks, scene changes, and memories.

The style of this book takes some bold risks, doing lots of things they say not to do. 97% of the novel is the main protagonist, but there are scenes from the antagonist girl, the dead boy, even an inanimate building. (And I get yelled at for one head-hopping scene in my novel.) The scenes aren't extraneous, but they do jar one.

But that's the thing. This is a novel for the short attention span. Scenes are short, change time and setting often, to the point where you start to forget what the main timeline is and where we left the protagonist. And it's not like a mystery novel where someone investigates clues. They're just doled out methodically in a sort of flashback history that led to the downfall of these teenagers.

But my favorite aspect is that the novel raises questions, which is what good books do. The title refers to what happens when one chooses to turn a blind eye to events. The "first they came for the Jews, but I said nothing..." problem. The book appeals to the "jaded person in a shitty high school situation" plot, which I'm a sucker for. ( )
  theWallflower | Sep 19, 2014 |
( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
If you are a fan of edgy YA - like The Perks of Being a Wallflower - then this is the book for you. King writes very realistically and is not afraid to show life like it really is. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Sep 10, 2014 |
Eighteen-year-old Vera Dietz had been best friends with her next-door neighbor, Charlie, for most of their lives. Then Charlie betrayed her. And then he died. Vera knows something about the night he died, something that would clear his name of a terrible accusation. But she doesn't want to tell.

I have some mixed feelings about this one. On the plus side, it's a very fast read, entertainingly written, with some clever narrative quirks. Some of Vera's teenage angst feels almost painfully believable. And the story definitely held my attention, as I kept turning pages waiting to find out exactly what had happened between Vera and Charlie and what it was she wasn't telling.

But I also kept tripping up on little details that just didn't feel right. (For example: Vera talks a lot about her Vocabulary class, which seems to consist entirely of memorizing short lists of words and using them in sentences. Which... huh? Why is a high school senior doing this kind of elementary school exercise? And how the heck do you get an entire class out of that? It's amazing how how thoroughly this one stupid thing threw me right out of the story. Repeatedly.) It also has almost a little too much of an Afterschool Special kind of feel to it, seeming almost to go down a checklist of Important Teen Issues: abusive relationships, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, illiteracy, sexual predators, parental abandonment, falling in with the wrong crowd... It's not preachy, exactly, but it comes pretty close to it, especially with the "your parents really are hard on you because they love you" and "don't look the other way when something is wrong" messages. ( )
  bragan | Aug 28, 2014 |
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When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.

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