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Thursday, September 1, 2011
Don't ignore this book
Please ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King was a 2011 Michael L. Printz honor book. (The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature is an honor given each year by the American Library Association.) I don't always necessarily like, agree with, or read all of the winners and honor books, but this one intrigued me. The first thing I read on the book jacket flap when I opened the cover was, "Is it okay to hate a dead kid? Even if I loved him once? Even if he was my best friend? Is it okay to hate him for being dead?" Done. I was hooked!
Please ignore Vera Dietz is not an easy book to read. The characters, especially Vera, are dealing with some serious, heavy issues, and there aren't necessarily any easy answers. There is some strong language, sexual situations and underage drinking, so I would not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I would highly recommend it to older readers. I love Vera, she is such a real and honest character with a strong voice. I even love the way the book is written, shifting perspectives and giving different characters a chance to talk and share their point of view. This book is in turns raw, honest, open, funny, frustrating and heartbreaking, and should most definitely not be ignored.