Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Award Winning Wednesday — Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

This is the last official Award Winning Wednesday of the challenge! I've loved having a reason to review an award winner once a week, since I read so many of them! I hope you all have enjoyed them as much as I have! So, be sure to wrap up your reading, wrap up your reviews and link up!

For my last official AWW post, I decided to review Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King which won a Printz Honor this year. It's the story of Vera, a teenage girl who just wants to make it through high school and out of her town as far off the radar as she can. But things don't always work out, and when her best friend Charlie starts acting like a total pr*ck and then has the nerve to up and die on her, she's left totally conflicted about what she's supposed to feel, what she wants to feel, and what she wonders if she's allowed to feel.

First, let me just say that I absolutely love the way this book was written! Like, seriously. Vera is the main character and the main narrator, but every few chapters we get A word from the dead kid (aka dead ex-best friend Charlie), advice and discussion from the dad (complete with flow charts) and a few thoughts from the Pagoda (yup. An inanimate architectural eyesore gives us a commentary). And each of them are given their own distinct voice, their own attitudes, their own way of speaking that I didn't need the headers announcing which narrator was being given voice, because it was just so surely theirs that it couldn't have been anyone else talking.

The story itself is also so well told. This is again why I love Contemporary YA. Seriously. It's a raw and emotional story of trying to deal with all the crap life throws at you in high school, and Vera has definitely had her share of the major crap. As the story progresses and you learn more and more of what Vera has gone through, more and more of what happened with her and Charlie, or to Charlie, the more your heart breaks and the more you just sit there and hope that there is going to be a way to happily settle the story. But when several of the chapters are narrated by the dead kid, it's not like he's going to be coming back.: (

But even with that, Vera is such a strong character. She is the type of person that I would love to know in real life. She's got just enough attitude and sarcasm to be funny and witty without being obnoxious or a total b*tch. One of my favorite lines from the book, one that I feel illustrates the large angst of the novel as well as both Vera and Charlie as characters perfectly is — "Let me tell you — if you think your best friend dying is a bitch, try your best friend dying after he screws you over. It's a bitch like no other."-pg. 7 And that right there my friends, is Vera.

I honestly and truly cannot think of one single thing that I didn't love about this book. Everything about it feel authentic and believable and it's just so incredibly real. This is a book that I could read over and over again and never tire of. There is just so much to this story and I absolutely loved it. Honestly and truly, Please Ignore Vera Dietz has been one of my favorite recent reads. This is the type of book that makes me love reading award lists. Because without the Printz Honor, I might have missed this one. It wasn't really one I'd seen around a lot. But it would have been a shame to have missed this one, and it's one that I highly recommend you go out and read. Now. (But no, seriously... Make this one a priority. If you haven't read it, go. Get it. Read it.)