Monday, May 9, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Vera Dietz is in her final year of high school while also working full-time as a pizza delivery technician. She tries not to draw attention to herself because she's already got enough to deal with. Besides working her butt off to get good grades AND save enough money for college, Vera is being harassed by the ghost of her ex-best friend, Charlie, who wants her to clear his name.

If they hadn't had a huge falling out, maybe Charlie would still be alive, but Vera is still really mad at him. Too bad she's also still in love with him.

What really happened on the night Charlie died remains a mystery through most of the book. The story is told from Vera's point of view, but sometimes we hear from her dad (who includes flowcharts), sometimes from the dead kid (Charlie), and sometimes from the pagoda (a town monument with a wry sense of humour). Vera is an endearing character who struggles to do the right thing. You'll be cheering for her, even when the pagoda grumbles.

Grade 9 - adult. Readalike: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, for a similarly fresh voice.

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