Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

 5 Stars

I miss him so much, but it’s confusing, because I missed him long before he was dead, and that’s the bitch of it all. I missed him long before he was dead.

I’ve actually had this for a long time but put off reading it because I had so many other pending books. Finally, I decided to open it, since what the heck, it’s only 300+ pages long and I wanted a quick read.

I started this book expecting a light read but boy was I wrong. This book left me in such an emotional turmoil I’m not even sure I’ve recovered enough to write a proper review. I’ve read a lot of books throughout my life but never have I been this affected by a book, much less by a stand-alone with less than 400 pages. Reading Vera Dietz was such an experience. It was painful to read, painful in an excruciatingly good way.

Grief, betrayal, acceptance, family, love: I’ve read countless novels about these but this is the first time I’ve been affected this way. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is not a love story, but it broke my heart to millions of pieces. I literally felt an ache in my chest, and I admit I even shed a tiny tear (I’ve never cried over a book before, not even over Mitch Albom or Nicholas Sparks).

Being betrayed by the person you love the most is harsh, being betrayed by your best friend is devastating, but being betrayed by your best friend who also happened to be the love of your life is worse. The worst? Loving him despite everything. I’m not Vera Dietz, but I was Vera while reading this book. I got hurt when Charlie chose to believe Jenny Flick, a girl he barely knew, than her, a girl he knew his all life, a girl he knew was in love with him, a girl he was in love with. I got hurt when Charlie thought Vera could betray him like that, because he should know, because he knew Vera better than anyone. And when Charlie betrayed her, when he told everyone the very thing that could hurt her most, when he, himself, said the words to hurt her, I felt every pang of pain Vera felt. Most especially, when Charlie finally told Vera everything, I shattered with her.

Vera loved Charlie so much, and so she hated Charlie just as much. I totally understand, because that’s how I felt about this book. I hate what happened, I absolutely hate it. And I absolutely loved it. Heck, I even loved the Pagoda. I hated what happened to Vera and Charlie, I hated how they didn’t do anything about it even if they had the choice to make things different. I hated how regret can consume us, how painful it is to know the truth but not be able to change anything because it’s too late. I hated how life was so harsh to the both of them, because that’s how life is for most of us, and that’s also what I loved most about it. I don’t think I was able to forgive Charlie for the things he’s done, and I don’t think I ever will. But I don’t hate him either. One thing’s for sure, Vera and Charlie’s story will stick with me… because it’ll take a lot of effort to be able to ignore Vera Dietz, even if she says Please.

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