Please Ignore Vera Dietz
A. S. King
Knopf, 2010 (2010)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
era Dietz and Charlie Kahn have lived next door to each other their entire lives. They grow up as best friends. Charlie is the only friend Vera needs. Around school, she tries to make herself invisible.
era's parents married young when her mother became pregnant at seventeen. She left Vera and her dad when Vera was twelve. Her dad is a recovered alcoholic. He frequently reminds Vera that alcoholism is in her genes and that being more than friends with Charlie Kahn won't get her to college.
era works full time as a pizza delivery technician and goes to school, where she gets all A's. Lately, she has a lot to deal with. First, she loses her best friend because of lies his girlfriend told him; then she loses him permanently when he dies. Now he's badgering her to clear his name. No wonder she drinks.
era tells her story in the present tense but tells the story of her friendship with Charlie in past tense, where we watch them grow up. Charlie adds some things from the afterlife and her dad gives his take on Vera's drinking.
ing introduces you to characters in peril and pulls you into their lives in only a few pages. Vera's story is sad, sweet and scary, and not one you'll want to put down until the end.
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