The story focuses mainly on Vera’s life, post-Charlie’s death. It’s a pretty honest portrayal of grief and denial, with Vera hiding a vodka bottle under the seat of her car and swigging from it while on her pizza delivery runs (she’s a “Pizza Delivery Technician”). She’s such an honest character. She does stupid things and hangs out with the wrong people and reacts badly to certain situations. She’s real. And I love that.
Another aspect to the story is the point of view change. While the majority of the story is told by Vera, there are shifts to her father’s POV. He is a recovering alcoholic struggling to raise Vera without his wife, who abandoned the family years ago. Charlie even gets some snippets, aptly titled A Word from the Dead Kid. And the Pagoda, the town’s slightly tacky landmark, makes a few statements about the state of life.
This book was emotional, surprisingly funny, and oddly beautiful. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves real characters. You will feel for Vera, I promise.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book.