This is not the usual kind of book that I tend to read, but I'd heard good things about it, and when it came up as available for immediate download from my library's ebook catalog, I loaded it onto my Nook right before I left for vacation. And I was glad I did.
The story is a compelling one, and it's told in an innovative, effective way. Seventeen-year-old Vera has lost her best friend, Charlie. He has died, and Vera is left to pick up the pieces. The worst thing about losing her best friend, the boy she grew up with, spent so much time with, is that she actually lost him months before he died.
The book is like a puzzle, with scenes from the present alternating with scenes from the past, and these scenes are narrated from different points of view. The reader may begin to suspect the truth of the events leading up to Charlie's death, but there are bound to be some surprises along the way.
This is a difficult book to read, and I'd recommend it to older teens because of the dark subject matter, but it is not without humor, and it did not leave me feeling depressed. Vera is a character I came to care about, and although I did feel like shaking her a few times, her motives were always clear and believable. I think fans of Chris Crutcher would enjoy this book, and readers who enjoy John Green's novels, too.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)