Dear Ms. King,
Hello, I’m a junior at Carbondale Community High School. I recently read your book, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and let me start by saying how much I truly enjoyed the book. It was humorous yet very real and sad at the same time. As I was starting to get to know Vera better throughout the book and her relationship with Charlie, I kept wanting him to be alive. You could see that actually he was a good guy that just simply got mixed up with the wrong crowd. Obviously from the beginning you know Charlie is dead but whenever there was a flash back, I was wishing he was still alive. I wanted him and Vera to have a chance to truly be together, especially after he said, “I love you, Vera. I always will”. Now I know that it defeats the purpose of the story if he were to still be alive, but I still hoped. I liked the way the story was told. I liked that the chapters skipped back and forth between present day and memories. You got to see what triggered her memories and why certain events had the effect they did. I haven’t read many stories that are written in that form and I thought it was very creative.
I felt that Vera was a very easy character to relate with. While I can’t exactly compare events in my life to events in Vera’s life, she was very real. She was the underdog that you wanted to cheer for. I truly wanted Vera to find her happiness. I wanted her to find a way to release Charlie’s secret. I’ll be honest and say that the book started off a little slow for me, but it was a constant page-turner as it began to pick up. My absolute favorite part was the connection Vera and her father have at the end. They have both been to counseling and they have realized that the main problem is Vera’s mom leaving. I feel Ken, Vera’s dad, has never left go of Vera’s mom to be able to move on. I thought it was really interesting when Vera and Ken make the signs to wear that have something written about them on the sign. Then while they are driving in the car on their road trip, Ken’s sign flies off. Its very symbolic of him letting go therefore the label no longer fits. I really did love that part. Vera and her father found a new connection at the end of the book that I feel they did not have at the beginning. The story wasn’t just about Vera finding her way through her guilt; it was also about Ken finding a way to accept the truth of Vera’s mother leaving. It was a powerful story that I would read again and again. And in the end I’m glad Vera and her father were able to find peace. Once again, I truly enjoyed the book.