I just finished A.S. King’s book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It broke my heart. Completely ripped it apart. And I loved it.
Her writing made it impossible to put down. The prologue sucked me in with these lines:
To say my friend died is one thing.
To say my friend screwed me over and then died five months later is another.
The book opens with 18-year-old Vera Dietz at the funeral of her former best friend, Charlie. The book details key moments from the year after his death (when his ghost haunts her) and flashes back to their decade-plus-long friendship. As a reader you unravel the mystery of what happened to destroy the most important friendship in both their lives and what lead to his premature death.
A.S. King does a magnificent job melding the past and the present for these characters. Her POV shifts and time shifts are seamlessly interwoven. I cannot imagine the story told another way. I devoured each page waiting to find out more.
She captured the teen voice with such authenticity. All the secondary characters are 3-D and you can’t help flashing back to your own high school experience and remembering that guy or girl.
The book takes the reader through the traps of adolescence (underage drinking, drugs, sex) and doesn’t shy away from showing the real consequences.
Both Vera and the reader emerge with a new perspective on things. I’m so glad I took this journey with Vera!
If you only read one more book in 2010, make sure it’s this one.
Thank you A.S. King.