The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
• March 8, 2016 • Crown Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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Dill 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.
I received this book for free from Random House for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First sentence: “There were things Dillard Wayne Early Jr. dreaded more than the start of Forrestville High.”
With serpent in the title, you know The Serpent King will be a gem.
The Serpent King follows a group of friends—Dillard Early Jr., Lydia Blankenship, and Travis Bohannon—who just want to escape their rural Bible Belt town of Forrestville in Tennessee. However, it’s harder to do so when your family, life, and history is thoroughly rooted to the town. See these teenagers navigate their senior year of high school and the vipers that try to suffocate them.
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