Tag Archives: coming of age

[Review] The Serpent King — Jeff Zentner

Book Title: The Serpent King
Author:     Jeff Zentner
Number of pages: 384


jeff-zentner-the-serpent-king-book-coverDill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

(re: Goodreads @ The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– A quiet coming of age centering on Southern youths living within The Bible Belt; the environment/infrastructure is vividly imagined
– Multi-POV narrative (2 boys, 1 girl) with socioeconomic and religious diversity
– Pitch perfect characterizations with accessible struggles that make it easy to empathize and root for these kids
– This story capitalizes on the art of living and growing up featuring prose that’s mundanely resilient, effortlessly luminous, and simply raw.


Initial Thoughts

I read most of this book commuting on transit. The dialogue between my heart versus brain went something like this:

Heart: Oh hey there sad mome–


There are no spoilers in this review.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from Penguin Random House of Canada courtesy of Goodreads First Reads. I extend thanks for letting me read this in advance. (Also props to the creative decision to make the ARC cover feel so buttery.)

Continue reading [Review] The Serpent King — Jeff Zentner

[Review] Half a King — Joe Abercrombie

Book Title                  Half a King
Author:                        Joe Abercrombie
Number of pages:  336


joe abercrombie - half a king (cover)Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.

But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy…

(re: Goodreads @ Half a King by Joe Abercrombie)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Familiar fantasy setting that draws from medieval influences
– Protagonist feels like a teeny bopper version of Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones fame
– Plotting/twists can be predicted with the right skepticism but the provocative writing, clever dialogue, and well-paced action made for an enjoyable experience
– A coming-of-age tale with complex characters who are not pawns to the protagonist’s story
– I would imagine Abercrombie’s grocery list is quite eloquent…


Initial Thoughts

A highly anticipated read (back in 2014) that actually pans out right.

Continue reading [Review] Half a King — Joe Abercrombie

[Alternatives] – Movies – Boyhood

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of discussing literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music with a randomized flavour of the moment approach to each post.

Movies – Boyhood

Genre: Coming of age, Drama, Family
Duration: 165 Minutes
Directed & Written By: Richard Linklater

Continue reading [Alternatives] – Movies – Boyhood