Title: PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ
Author: A.S King
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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?
Let’s start the with voice, ’cause that’s what keeps me coming back to this book. King crafts the story with such a unique edgy voice that easily gives the readers a chance to immediately connect to Vera.
The story is about Vera Dietz, a high school senior coming to terms with her dead best friend, Charlie. She is the only one to know how Charlie died, and even clues to find who killed him. The problem is, five months before his death, they had completely shifted paths in two very different directions, fighting continuously five months before his death. Now, Vera doesn’t even know if she wants to set Charlie’s records straight anymore.
Vera starts off as a confused girl, still beating herself up for being unable to make the right decision. She always hates it when her father says to ignore every single problem that doesn’t involve them, but when it comes to ignoring Charlie’s case, Vera is unsure what to do. Throughout the book, she slowly faces everything that had gone wrong in their friendship, learning to forgive Charlie and do one right thing. By the end, she is still the quiet invisible Vera, but she speaks up about how Charlie died, which made me feel like this was actually Charlie’s story, told through Vera’s perspective.
The POV shifts, to me, was almost unnecessary, throwing me off the actual narrative, the tension and world building, everything pausing for a few pages which seemed to do nothing to the story. Of course, Charlie’s POVs were a different case, because it was interesting to see things from the dead boy’s viewpoint at some times. It showed some critical points of the story that Vera never knew and the readers could never see without him.
Overall, the plot moved swiftly, and with the strong voice added to it, the book was a page turner. It’s easy to see why someone might find Vera’s character unlikable, but to me, she was just realistic, and realistic is not confined to a countable few teenager stereotypes, and I loved how King had stepped out that few likable character traits and made Vera a completely normal teen without those traits.