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.
I really liked this book, so just a few highlights of what made this book immensely readable for me:
– The title works on several different levels.
– Although it’s not a fun subject, there are a lot of moments of humor–particularly through the POV shifts.
– Vera’s dad, Ken, uses flow charts. I love them. I loooove them.
– Speaking of Vera’s dad, he is so awesome. Such a great character, such a great dad. I really felt for him and really knew he was just doing the best he could.
– This book is largely about the destructive nature of secrets: yours and other people’s. More importantly, the destructive nature of keeping other people’s secrets. (Trying not to be spoilery.)
– Even though the book starts with Charlie dead, and I know he’s dead the whole time, I was just so worried about him. I didn’t know exactly how he died, and I dunno, I just wanted him to be happy, even when he was treating Vera horribly.
– Vera worried me a lot, too. But I knew she would be okay–or at least I hoped she would. At any rate, she’s a fascinating character, and her pain was my pain (probably why I worried about Charlie so much, honestly), and I knew she was drinking because she was in pain, and I just wanted her to be happy, too. She is wickedly funny and smart, though, so not maudlin as a narrator even as she’s dealing with said pain.
– The relationship between Vera and her dad is A+. Strained at times, but A+.
– Gosh darnit, I just want those kids to be happy. Why is that so hard?
– I love any story that deals with best friends, and this book does that in spades.