I am completely torn on this book.On one hand, this is an amazing story. Welcome to the teenage wasteland. Vera is one of the brightest, misshapen, and best teen protagonist that I have ever met. Any reader who hated high school can really relate to her struggles, her fears and her triumphs. Even using a speaking building and flipping the point of view to her father (seriously, Ken's story of him and his mother made be choke back some pretty heavy sobbing) made this odd and twisted story delightful. I believe that Vera's high school career is a mirror of the strengths and weaknesses of what our society is doing to help teens. Which is almost nothing. However, there are those who fight and keep their morals close.This story isn't the warm and fuzzy good-for-you book, it is a this-is-going-to-hurt-me-more-than-it-hurts-you story. Every teen struggles to fight a pre-determined destiny, but sadly, only a few can say they survived the battle.On the other hand, there was a major flaw with the story. What made this book lose points with me? I'm going to sound like a broken record, but here it goes: I would have liked a little warning about the animal cruelty of the book. And the demeaning attitude of pets and non-human lives. I nearly deleted the damned book towards the end. I'm sorry, but the whole climatic ending scene was out of character and just plain mean. It was DISGUSTING to mention animals knowing that they are about to die. I was sick to my stomach. Although the cussing and drug use were a major ingredient for "Vera", I believe that this is going to become required reading for the future. But be warned, animal lovers, it has some majorly disturbing imagery.