Book Review: Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz was actually edgy and gripping, with some laugh-out-loud funny turns of phrase and snark, and the kind of real-life complications that make a story authentic. The protagonist, Vera, is not so general that anyone can relate to her, but she's admirable as one of the few characters in the entire town who is intelligent, self-confident, and driven. If I were in her shoes, I'd be Breakdown Central even a third into the book.

Because she's such an admirable narrator, you keep flipping pages to find out what happened. And you can also side with her reasoning, which is why parts of this book broke my heart. I felt like Charlie was an authentic, earnestly real voice as well. I went to high school with boys who, as surface appearances go, were very Charlie-like. So of course, reading this book makes 16-year-old me wish I'd actually dared to befriend those boys.

In all, it was a compelling, engrossing read that felt more fiction than YA. I listened to it on audiobook, and Lynde Houck and the male 'guest narrator' both did a fantastic job. I highly recommend this one for fans of contemporary fiction, YA or not, especially ones that deal with friendships, secrets, and father/daughter relationships.

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