Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Please ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King 326 pages
Dysfunctional from the get go. Vera strives to be the unnoticed under the radar kid at school. It's bad that her mom ran away with a podiatrist. It's worse when her Dad tells her that mom used to be a stripper. Dad warns her continuously that she is last of a very long line of alcoholics (he joined AA when she was 6 months old), and she has to stay away from guys (her mom was an unmarried teenager when she hooked up with Vera's Dad and conceived Vera) and booze. Dad forces her to take a full-time pizza delivery job to develop maturity. Her best friend, Charlie lives next door. His father regularily beats his mom. To get away, he builds a super-treehouse. It is a mystery how he gets plenty of money for smokes and a fancy lighter. Told in a non-linear progression, the reader learns that Charlie died a violent death and Vera feels ghostly urgings to clear his name. It is believed that he set a fire at the pet shelter Vera used to volunteer at. Unfortunately, Charlie got ensnared by a group of school losers he meets while serving his in school suspension. There are a lot of unsavory characters, headed up by Jenny Flick, lying nymphomaniac. Sad.