Book Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz
By: A.S. King
Read By: Lynde Houck
Published By: Listening Library
Publication Date: April 26. 2011
Page Count: 336 (paperback)
Source: Library Audiobook
Audience/Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

I've struggled to write this review, not because Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn't fantastic (it is), but because I can't think of anyone who would do this lovely, complex, surprising, and emotionally raw book justice than Vera herself. She's lost her best friend without knowing why, and now he's dead and she knows how and why, but she can't tell anyone.

Vera Dietz has been in love with her best friend Charlie for as long as she can remember. Growing up they were inseparable, building a tree house so they could escape into the woods, keeping each others secrets, and though Charlie has always been among the chosen few whom everyone likes, Vera has been able to navigate high school, for the most part undetected and unnoticed. Until Charlie starts hanging out with another group of friends and unceremoniously ditches Vera. Several months later, Charlie dies under mysterious and suspicious circumstances, circumstances Vera knows something about. Youc an't keep each others secrets for 18 years without knowing a little something about each other.

A.S. King writes Vera, as well as the other two narrating characters, with an incredibly distinctive voice. Though Vera is the narrator, Charlie and her father (as well as The Pagoda -- don't worry, you'll understand when you read the book) make brief appearances as interjecting narrators. Initially I wasn't sure about these interruptions, but they're brief enough to not be distracting and both timed and chosen well t to give depth and additional layers to the story. And seriously, Vera is written SO WELL. Her bite and wit is unparallelled, but she is also so incredibly vulnerable. She stuck with me long after I'd finished the book.

Last Word:  A well deserved Printz honoree with flawed characters you want to jump in and save, and an engaging story that keeps you intrigued, long after what Vera knows is revealed.

Summary via Goodreads

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.


  1. Well, I have definitely been hearing a lot about A.S. King, her books sound so good. this is definitely my kind of read
    great review
    your reader,

  2. All of A.S. King's books are masterful, but this one especially. I always love the bits of supernatural elements, and the fact that King hails from my hometown doesn't hurt because there's always little bits of it thrown in there. I've met her twice now at signings, and she is really an amazing person.

    1. I would love to get a rec from you on what of hers to read next... :)

    2. Hmm, I think my 2nd favorite of hers is Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, which came out this fall. I also loved Ask the Passengers. Reality Boy is okay too, but I tend to prefer her female protagonists.


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