Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Today you get a bonus day -- it's like a present. Happy Leap Day!

In the meantime, I'm continuing my Printz-themed week with:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A.S. King
Knopf Books for Young Readers
October 12, 2010
Printz Honor Book 2011
Read her acceptance speech here.

Source: bought and read it when it came out,
and just listened to the audio book.


Summary: Charlie was Vera's best friend. They knew each other's secrets. Charlie knew that Vera's mother was an ex-stripper, and Vera knew that Charlie's father knocked his mother around. But when Jenny Flick the Detention Queen decides she wants Charlie as her boyfriend, Vera and Charlie's relationship falls apart. Secrets are spilled, fires are set, and Charlie ends up dead.

This book veers between the present, in which Vera spends her time delivering pizzas and trying to cope with Charlie's death, and the past, in which the reader comes to understand what happened to Charlie. Vera narrates, with occasional asides from Vera's father (who uses amusing flowcharts to explain how not to screw up your life), Charlie, a.k.a. "The Dead Kid," and the pagoda, a white elephant of a landmark in the Pennsylvania town in which this story takes place. Somehow, it all works.

The characters and their relationships are what make this book shine. Vera and Charlie have an intense friendship that's about to blossom into love -- at least, until Jenny Flick enters the picture. After that, Vera's so angry at Charlie that it takes her months to come to terms with her feelings. Vera and her father circle uneasily around each other, trying to find common ground. Vera wants the world to ignore her, since her goal in life is not to turn out like her mother: pregnant teen and former stripper.


Printz Trivia:
This author of a Printz Honor book wrote a play that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is also the brother of one of the original cast members of the Broadway musical Rent. Can you name him and his book?

23 comments:

  1. Awesome review. That sounds like a good book.
    Trivia answer: Adam Rapp and the book was Punkzilla. (I think) ;)

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    1. My blog readers are the smartest! Why isn't there a YA trivia game show??

      Donating Anthony Horowitz: Ark Angel

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    2. Haha right?! That would be so fun!

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    3. Well, when there is, let's make a team :)

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  2. Is this good on audiobook? I have wanted to read it for awhile but I keep getting wooed by shiny new things.

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    1. I thought it was great on audio. There are different voices for Vera, Charlie, her Dad and the pagoda.

      For you, donating Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford!

      Delete
  3. I don't think I could take this one. I've been reading too much death and destruction lately and it just sounds so sad, but I enjoyed your review.

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    1. I hear you!

      For you, donating something lighthearted:
      Rapunzel: The One With All the Hair by Wendy Maas

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  4. Wow that is a tough question. I don't know the answer....until I saw what Amy posted. :) lately I have become interested in reading books where the characters struggle through something in their life. I guess I want a short break from YA adventures.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm. I'll have to come up with some suggestions.

      Donating Where She Went by Gayle Forman for you -- plenty of struggle :)

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    2. I read If I Stay and Where She Went. I really like both books :) I remember crying because of what her grandfather told her while she was in the hospital that he would understand if she wanted to let go (from If I Stay).

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    3. I cried so hard when I read the first book. I was in the middle of Barnes and Noble, so it was a bit embarrassing. I paid for it and ran out...

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  5. This books sounds intense, but I like reading something different than the "norm" once in a while. :-)

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    1. It is, but Vera is also really funny. It's not that depressing!

      For you, donating Titanic by Gordan Korman. Now that's intense!

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  6. Well I absolutely loved reading Thirteen Reasons Why so I should definitely read this book. I find it really fun to read a book that starts in the present and then goes through flashbacks of the past. Everything seems to tie together easier written that way. And there is some mystery going on with Charlie and how he died. This is a book I would love to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give it a try and tell me what you thought!

      Donating Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

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  7. I have not heard of this book. This is why the reviews are so great.

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    1. So glad I'm giving you new reading ideas!

      Donating The 39 Clues by Gordon Korman!

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  8. you still doing that donating book? how awesome :) you have like an endless supply :D

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    1. Yes -- goes though Thursday. And I was hoping you'd show up because I was saving:

      Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar to donate for you :)

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    2. aww you're so sweet :) thank you and i hope those kids love the books!

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  9. I have heard some mixed reviews of this one--but if it is like Thirteen Reasons Why then I will probably like it. I have added it to my list (I know just what I needed--more books on the list). LOL

    I haven't heard of Punkzilla--I will have to look that one up too.

    Shanan
    http://thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com

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    1. Well, let me know what you think.

      Donating Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm by Betty MacDonald.

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