Tag Archives: lgbt

[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] This Is Where It Ends — Marieke Nijkamp

Book Title                  This Is Where It Ends
Author:                        Marieke Nijkamp
Number of pages:  292


this is where it ends - marieke nijkamp - book cover10:00 a.m.: The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.: The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m.: The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m.: Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

(re: Goodreads @ This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp)

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

– A timely novel giving life to social circles shared by school shooters. However, the shooter isn’t given a voice
– Multi POV narrative; uses twitter, blog posts, flashblacks
– Set in Alabama and raises questions per the demographics and the representation of diverse inclusion of the physically disabled, LGBTQIA+, cultural (Spanish, Middle Eastern), mentally ill
– Some scenes overdramatized with cinematic flair
– Lacking motivation for the shooter and doesn’t really provide solid reasons as to why


Initial Thoughts

This book join the ranks of most underwhelming titles I’ve read in 2015 (release is in 2016). Cover’s great, though.

Full disclosure: I received an e-ARC of This Is Where It Ends from Netgalley. I extend thanks to SourceBooks Fire for providing me the opportunity to review this book. 

Continue reading [Review] This Is Where It Ends — Marieke Nijkamp

[Top Ten Tuesday] – #61 – Top Ten Books In My Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this would be a fun way to share a condensed version of potential rambles and thoughts that I have.


This Week’s Theme:
Top Ten Books In My Beach Bag

Initial Thoughts:

I haven’t experienced reading on the beach seeing as how I seldom visit any of them in Toronto (but they’re pretty mediocre overall). Either way, this isn’t really inclusive of books I’d actually bring with me to the beach (because I ain’t no beast that can read 10 books in 1 sitting let alone 1). These are more reminders for me to read during the summer.

Continue reading [Top Ten Tuesday] – #61 – Top Ten Books In My Beach Bag