I read this on Libby. Not sure what that is? Ask your librarian at your public library! This site/app gives you ebooks and audiobooks at your fingertips for FREE! You must check it out!
I snapped many screenshots of pages while I read this book to share with my mother and sisters. Coming from a family where my father was a drug addict/alcoholic and wasn’t ever around even when my parents were married, and then my mom being a recovering alcoholic (30 years sober now), my family could so relate to the conversations, thoughts and struggles Vera Dietz goes through in this book with her father and mother.
The book begins with Vera burying her best friend Charlie. You have no idea why or what happened, but she said she would tell when the time was right. She goes on to reflect on her “history” at certain ages with Charlie and with her parents. She talks about things that seemed important and stuck with her. Charlie lived next door. His father was abusive and beat his mother daily. Vera’s family knew their secret, but never told because they knew it would only make things worse for Charlie and his mother. Charlie smoked cigarettes constantly but nothing more. Vera loved him, but knew that in order to avoid her destiny in becoming her mother (pregnant at 17, stripper for a moment and then void from her life at age 12), she couldn’t be more with him besides just best friends. Charlie continues down a road, once in high school, with kids she calls “Detentionheads”. He begins drinking and smoking weed and having sex and doing really terrible things, including telling everyone Vera’s secret. She eventually reveals his death (death by asphyxiation on his own vomit from being drunk) and how everyone thinks he is to blame for a tragic fire in a pet store. But she knows he didn’t do it, because she was there.
This book is about how a girl has the drive to be different than her parents, and works hard to break the cycle, but still finds herself wanting to be a normal teenager-drinking, liking boys and not always doing what her overbearing father wants her to do. This is a great read about identity, destiny, friendship and doing what’s right. One of my favorite books now!
Click on the image to visit the author’s Amazon page to find more books written by A.S. King.
King, A.S. (2010). Please ignore vera dietz. New York, NY: Random House.