This is me using the word compassionate in a sentence. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is to me a novel about being compassionate, about caring for what happens to your friends and family.
Sounds lame? Well if you think so, you, my dear, are very wrong. There is nothing boring or lame about Vera at all. Her story is moving and funny, I laughed and wiped the occational tear away while reading.
So the main character in Please Ignore Vera Dietz, who surprisingly enough is called Vera, is a smart girl. Sometimes she has to study for her vocabulary tests and she involves the reader in her studying. That is what I am playing at in the intro to this review. So there you are!
Best friends from childhood,Vera and Charlie are soon turning eighteen when they suddenly end up as each others nemesis. Then one night Charlie just dies. Should Vera try to find out what happened or is Charlies secrets better off being buried and forgotten alongside him? The hundreds and sometimes thousands of Charlies Vera sees in the most unsuitable situations might be a significant sign that Vera should take action. Either that or Vera is being contacted from the great beyond.
Dare to careA.S. King's story is for me a story about caring, not turning a blind eye on things that happens to your loved ones. In these days sadly it is not uncommon to turn a blind a when difficult issues lies dead ahead. If we dared to care more about each other it might result in a lot more happy people in the word. Please Ignore Vera Dietz drives this message home, at least for me. The main character Vera learns that one should care, it is not always wise to fly below the radar, but by then it is way too late.
I was always so unsure where Vera would end up, she was living on a dangerous cliff edge, would she tip over over would her feet stay grounded? I guess you have to figure that out by reading this book yourself.
Cheering on the good parentsI would say it is rather common for parents to be portrayed in a unflattering manner in a lot of YA novels. That or the parents are not visible to the reader at all. That is not the case in PIVD, Vera's father, Ken Dietz, actually has a few chapters here and there all to himself.
By letting Ken Dietz have a voice of his own A.S. King gave the readers a unique view into Ken's thoughts on being a single parent for Vera. Ken tries to understand his daughter and he is doing his very best and still he feels like he is failing. I loved the insight in Ken's life, past and present, it has a lot to do with who Vera is now. Also Ken makes the most hilarious flowcharts.
A wonderful YA novel, and I think young adults and adults both would benefit(and be entertained by) from reading this novel. I think the author have done a great job, one that might provide each parties to understand each other a bit better. One doesn't have to agree with each other all the time, but it do helps to see things from a different perspective. A unputdownable, funny and sad read at the same time. Well done, A.S. King! I will read more of your work, that's for sure.
Check out A.S. King talking about her novel and some other stuff:
I have to add that I first discovered Please Ignore Vera Dietz over at book blogger, now turned published author, Lenore Appelhans' blog back in 2010. You can read Lenore's review here.
Have you read PIVD or any other books by A.S. King?
Do tell me about your A.S. King experience :)
I'll end this review with a song that makes me think about the turning of the main character, Vera, and Charlies relationship.