Tag Archives: YA

[Review] The Serpent King — Jeff Zentner

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

Synopsis:

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.

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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–

Brain: —FIGHT THE TEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRSSsss.

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

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[Top Ten Tuesday] – #74 – Characters I Didn’t Click With

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.

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This Week’s Theme:
Characters I Didn’t Click With


Initial Thoughts:

The defining characteristics for characters to be “click”-worthy generally involve their presence to make me empathize with their conflict and connect with them on their journey. I don’t have to necessarily enjoy how they act but it’s more asking yourself “is there a sense of coldness or feeling of being in arms-reach to the character” that’s on display here for me to not feel fully invested in their dilemmas.

I will speak of this from two fronts: books and films, as I do, with unpopular opinions abound.


Continue reading [Top Ten Tuesday] – #74 – Characters I Didn’t Click With

[Top Ten Tuesday] – #68 – Ten Books That Embrace Diversity

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.

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This Week’s Theme:
Ten Books That Embrace Diversity

Initial Thoughts:

Today’s prompt looks at books that foster diversity in its storytelling. I do have qualms about the title of the prompt (re: celebrating diversity) but more on that after. I’ll be basing this list on books I’ve read and several I hope to read in the future (you know how it is with TBRs).

(I also lied–it’s way more than 10.)


Continue reading [Top Ten Tuesday] – #68 – Ten Books That Embrace Diversity