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You are here: Home » Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. KingPLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King Book Review
Publication Date: October 12th 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King Book Review Overview:

  • Didn’t find Vera very relatable; her character didn’t make a lasting impression on me
  • A page-turner for sure, but it led me to want to skim to the good parts
  • My expectations for PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King were just too high

I admit it: I have Reader’s Guilt because I felt like I did not like PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King as much as everyone else out there. PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ has the elements of being a fantastic book, but when it came down to it, the book just did not excite me as much as I wanted it to.

PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King has the elements that I usually adore in contemporary books: a huge secret, multiple perspectives, and a funny main character. But unfortunately, the elements just couldn’t come together to blow me away. Maybe it’s the fact that I know the book won a Printz Honor and I had pretty high expectations coming in.

There wasn’t anything about Vera that made her really relatable. I like her as a character, but I don’t think that she made a lasting impression on me. I was able to empathize with her character, and I truly admire her loyalty to Charlie no matter how many things happened between them. Their friendship was the strongest aspect of the book.

Furthermore, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King is a very gripping book. It’s the kind of book that you want to read straight through just to uncover the big secret. The problem with this however, that it led me toward a tendency of skimming. I just wanted instant gratification as a reader. I would constantly have to remind myself to slow down and appreciate King’s writing just to get to the good part.

Additionally, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King is not the best book to read in digital format. The various flow charts that weave into the storyline were hard to read on a 6″ e-ink device. If I had read this on a print book, I probably would have enjoyed the flow charts a lot more.

Overall, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King was a quick and enjoyable read. But because of the fact that I had high expectations, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I probably should have.

Other Book Reviews:
Mere Musings
Pingwing’s Bookshelf
Reading is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

About the Author

A.S. KingA.S. King is the author of the critically-acclaimed EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS (Little, Brown 2011) the Edgar Award nominated and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ (Knopf 2010) and award-winning THE DUST OF 100 DOGS (Flux 2009) and other fiction for teens and adults. Next up: ASK THE PASSENGERS coming October 2012.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 1 comment

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , | Words 947 words

You are here: Home » Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Every Day by David LevithanEVERY DAY by David Levithan Book Review
Publication Date: August 28th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |

Book Summary: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Every Day by David Levithan Book Review Overview:

  • The genderless main character makes you redefine what love means
  • Sweet romance with an undeniable connection between two characters
  • Beautiful writing; you will want to mark up passages

Imagine if you woke up in a different body every day, but was in love with the same girl? How far would you go to make this love work? In David Levithan’s most unique novel yet, he explores this concept as A wakes up every day in a different body of a wide variety of teens.

What makes EVERY DAY by David Levithan so ground-breaking is the fact that the protagonist is not confined to a single gender. A is genderless; neither a boy nor a girl. A does not feel more comfortable or at home depending on the gender of the person. Admittedly, it is a tough habit to break not to refer to a character using pronouns but A stresses so many times in the novel that A does not categorize as one or the other. I think that this is important because of the message that David Levithan is trying to point out in regards to love: gender does not matter. Love should be between two people. That’s it.

At first, I worried that I would not be a fan of the romance in EVERY DAY. The protagonist meets Rhiannon from the very first chapter of EVERY DAY by David Levithan. There’s an instant spark; they have chemistry. My biggest fear was that this would turn out to be a meaningless insta-love match. I was wrong. David Levithan is a talented author and he evokes so much feeling through A. You are instantly able to feel the connection between A and Rhiannon and it feels like they’ve known each other for a lot longer.

I fell in love with the writing in EVERY DAY immediately. David Levithan has written a book that will make you want to mark a passage to read over and over in the future. The writing alone was a reminder as to why David Levithan book is one of my favorite authors ever.

EVERY DAY is easily one of my favorite David Levithan books right next to Boy Meets Boy and The Lover’s Dictionary. EVERY DAY by David Levithan is a book that I can see myself reading over and over again.

Other Book Reviews:
Jane & Carin
Reading or Breathing
The Young Folks

About the Author

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 4 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Four Stars - , , , , , , , , | Words 1065 words

You are here: Home » Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

EVERY YOU, EVERY ME by David Levithan
Publication Date: September 13th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: |

Summary: In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

Review Overview:

  • Writing style forced me slow down when reading
  • The photographic addition to the narrative is different, but I can’t say I was stunned by the photography
  • Not my favorite Levithan book but still worth picking up for the mystery

The style of EVERY YOU, EVERY ME is not one that I’ve encountered before. At his book signing, Levithan properly gave credit to the author that used it first, but of course, I can’t remember who that certain author is. Written from the perspective of Evan, the narrative style is very stream of consciousness. Evan says whatever he wants to, but he constantly strikes out words when he second guesses what he says. You’ll see a lot of excess adjectives crossed out; sometimes entire sentences. I found that the writing style forced me to slow down while I read. While it made me appreciate the style a bit more, I also found it a lot more challenging to read. The combination of constant striked out sentences and the stream of consciousness writing felt extremely choppy to me. The novel doesn’t flow as much as I preferred as a reader, and as a result, I read a lot slower than usual.

Of course, it’s difficult to talk about this book without touching on the photographs – because let’s be honest: that’s one of the other reasons that make this book unique. Levithan worked with his friend Farmer to create a novel that worked with photographs. Farmer took each photograph featured in the book and it was up to Levithan to find a way to incorporate every single one. Farmer had no idea what Levithan was writing, and Levithan had no idea what photograph would follow. It was great to take a break from the usual storytelling format, but I wouldn’t say that I was stunned by any of the pictures in the book. I love the idea that both of them were able to work so well together to create a story – even if they had no idea that it would work at the time.

Nonetheless, the mystery behind Ariel kept me hooked. I had some theories as to what had happened to her, but Levithan still managed to keep me on my toes the entire time. Just when I thought I was coming to a conclusion, the characters would just say something that made me second-guess myself.

The combination of photographs and choppy sentences also makes this book a really short read. The book isn’t long to begin with, and since many pages are not filled entirely with text, it is very easy to read this book in one sitting.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of David Levithan. This one isn’t my favorite work of Levithan, so I wouldn’t exactly recommend this book to someone who has never picked up one of his works. However, if you’re really in the mood for a book that will keep you guessing, pick this one up!

If I wasn’t such a huge Levithan fan, I would have been disappointed that I bought this book instead of just borrowing it from the library. This one is definitely a Borrow It for me if it was written by anyone else.

Why I’m Biased: David Levithan is one of my favorite authors. Ever. So I admit I have a tendency to hold high standards.

Other Reviews:
Gone with the Words
Good Books & Good Wine

About the Author

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 5 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , | Words 1107 words

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