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?
Design – ? Rating – 4/5
This cover is bold and simple. I really like that it’s asymmetrical, with the lighter way over to the right. It manages to be bright and ominous at the same time. The title lettering is eye-catching and interesting. Overall, just a great cover for this book.
I found this book to be very gloomy. Please Ignore Vera Dietz deals with Vera’s life following the death of her once best friend, Charlie, but I didn’t really care about Charlie. I was much more interested in Vera’s relationship with her dad, her struggle to form her own ideas about life. Her stupid decisions were much more interesting than Charlie’s stupid decisions.
- Vera + her dad – I like that Vera and her dad both struggle to relate to each other. Living with only one other person is hard sometimes, no matter how close the two people are. Vera’s dad pushes her to work work work and she’s learned that he doesn’t listen to her input on the situation, so she deals with it on her own terms. Vera has always questioned her dad’s reaction to Charlie’s home issues. I appreciated the fact that Vera and her dad went to therapy to begin to work things out with each other.
- POVs – Even though the POV switches seem pretty random, I like them. Most of all, I like that the pagoda had its own little sections. It was nice to hear from Vera’s dad and get his take on things. Charlie was sometimes helpful. The pagoda really wasn’t. I just liked seeing what was going on from different angles.
- Charlie – Vera spends much of the book haunted by her past with Charlie and the things she thinks Charlie would say to her now, but I think Charlie’s kind of a jerk based on the things we learn about him. Yes, I feel bad for Charlie because his home life is awful, but I don’t think it excuses his behavior. Charlie chose to turn his back on Vera, someone who was always there for him. He chose to believe what Jenny Flick told him, and when Vera was in danger because he asked her for help, Charlie wasn’t even there. Charlie made stupid decisions and I wish we learned more about Vera instead of Charlie.
- mood – Please Ignore Vera Dietz is very gloomy. The more that’s revealed about Vera’s childhood friendship with Charlie, the more I felt like things were going to end badly. Obviously something bad happened because Charlie’s dead, but it’s like the toxic relationship between Charlie’s parents leaked out of his house and poisoned everything around it. It certainly poisoned Charlie’s life, and Vera’s, both through him and through her house’s proximity to Charlie’s. The atmosphere of this book just feels dark, like the story is happening in a foggy forest with dead trees everywhere. The more I think about this book, the more the details fade, but the thing that sticks in my mind is the gloomy, somewhat hopeless feel.
- bad things – I don’t know what else to call it. Vera’s job is delivering pizzas, which isn’t bad in itself – it’s that she’s under pressure from her dad to work whenever she’s not at school, which is way too much. Vera drinks and drives regularly. She puts herself in dangerous situations with people she barely knows. She keeps her mouth shut about Charlie’s death even though she’s known the circumstances all along. I know bad things have to happen for Vera to grow as a person, but it’s depressing to read about.
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Mind your own business. Don’t make waves. Fly under the radar. ‘It’s just one of those things, Vera.’
I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. If we’re supposed to ignore everything that’s wrong in our lives, then I can’t see how we’ll ever make things right. – pg. 44
I miss him so much, but it’s confusing, because I missed him long before he was dead, and that’s the bitch of it all. I missed him long before he was dead. – pg. 88