Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King - ADVISABLE

King, A.S. Please Ignore Vera Dietz. 326 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. $16.99. Language - R (multiple swears, 6 'f'); Sexual Content - PG-13; Violence - PG-13. Vera Dietz might as well wear a sign around her neck, asking the other high school students to ignore her. That's how hard she tries to slip under the radar, connecting only with her best friend (and next-door neighbor) Charlie. But when Charlie betrays her and then dies, she must decide whether to come clean about what happened the night of his death or let the world believe he committed the heinous act everybody thinks he's responsible for.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints and skips around in time, which adds to the air of mystery and, at times, leads to some confusion. The mystery of what happened the night of Charlie's death and whether Vera will tell the truth adds suspense to this weighty novel. Many students, especially those who feel like they don't fit in, could connect with Vera. While smart and often funny, she is on the fringe and does not always make the right decisions. Although some of the characters engage in underage drinking, drugs, and other illegal acts, they are ultimately not condoned. HS - ADVISABLE. Caryn

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