Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Blurb: (from 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.
Me: Can I say I finally have the honor to review this book? No other author than A.S. King could have broken my heart so gradually and painfully through humor and truth and the inevitable.
The Ups: First of all, the entire "my best friend died." is used way too many times in young adult novels. I get it okay. You're sad. Cry cry. Tear tear. Boohoo. But A.S. King knows how to make the reader feel every single real emotion that runs through a characters head. The feelings are never overdone, never cheesy, sometimes too real it gets bland, but it immerses you into the reality of her stories. Other authors, when writing about the death of a loved one from a character's point of view, feel the need to somehow show the depression and the desperateness through depicting every moment, making the characters break down and then have super sad monologues about how much they need someone. This book however, masks the idea in dark humor and true honesty that even though Vera really doesn't completely go through an emotional "ride", per se, it breaks your heart and ties you with the characters more than any other book.
It's just written phenomenally. Vera is an amazing protagonist. She is constantly avoiding her destiny, trying to get something out of her sucky life, and grieving and feeling and loving...without knowing it. She never gets annoying, too dramatic. or too helpless. Charlie and Ken Dietz were my two other favorites, because both of them had such beautiful stories and desperate lives, but a certain light to their lives as well.
It amazes me how I can get through that and Vera doesn't really break down once, but I was bawling from the second half on.
The Downs: I don't know. There is a certain sensation right now (I literally just finished it) that leaves me empty and hollow and feeling like it wasn't completely resolved, but that's life. And A.S. King tells it like it is.