Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Please DON'T Ignore Vera Dietz

A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz debuts today, which at Aaron's Books is a reason to celebrate. Not only is it a bold, moving, beautiful work, the author is a wonderful person who shares her enthusiasm for writing (and independent bookstores) with everyone she meets. (watch her awesome video!)

Vera is a high schoool senior struggling with the death of her best friend Charlie, months after he had betrayed her trust. She has to find a way to reconstruct her life in the aftermath of these two events, finish high school, and find a direction for her life, while trying to block out the ongoing (and very funny) pleas from (dead) Charlie to unearth the truth about how he died.

King's first novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs, was a tremendous surprise; a beautiful, sad, challenging, funny, comletely unexpected work - with pirates! It has the front cover art and back cover blurb that continue to make it one of our store's easiest hand-sellers, almost two years after its publication. Vera is just good, and will have a featured place on the shelves at Aaron's Books for years to come.

Vera and Dogs are completely different in subject and style, but they have many things in common, including:
* great female lead characters
* unexpected shifts in narrator and perspective
* difficult issues, presented with honest emotion

But it's also important to note another similarity: they are both selling without any support from the chain stores. These are wonderful works for upper teens and adults that deserve love from every independent bookstore for their own sake, and also for the fact that they set us apart from the chains. We are the ones who decide what to carry in our stores. We aren't limited by national buyers who apparently have no idea how to evaluate books for teens that don't feature sparkly vampires or pretty girls in pink on the cover.

Let's all find ways to support Vera - and the other works that deserve and need indie love.

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