Jeff Zentner

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Jeff Zentner

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Michael Ondaatje, Jesmyn Ward, Anthony Doerr, Cormac McCarthy, Donna T ...more

Member Since
June 2007


Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two y
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Jeff Zentner I went to Goodreads. I read the one-star reviews.
Jeff Zentner Great question! To write the three, I essentially split my personality into thirds and gave each character a third to hold.

To Dill, I gave my sense …more
Great question! To write the three, I essentially split my personality into thirds and gave each character a third to hold.

To Dill, I gave my sense of the world—its beauty, my struggles with faith, my love for music, and my struggles with feeling like external forces defined me.

Travis got my nerdiness for the things I love, a ferocious loyalty to friends, and a desire to live a courageous life.

Lydia got my sense of humor and desire to leave my mark on the world.

All three are some of me; none are all of me.

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Average rating: 4.15 · 29,780 ratings · 7,146 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
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Rayne & Delilah's Midnite M...

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Down Don't Bother Me
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Faithful and Virt...
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The Tiger's Wife
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Jeff’s Recent Updates

Runaways, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter
East Coast Girls
by Kerry Kletter (Goodreads Author)
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It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I worship Kerry Kletter’s writing. And if you’ve ever wondered why, just read this book. From the first sentence to the last, it’s a wrenchingly gorgeous, vital, lyrical, funny, and true-to-life portrait of ...more
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East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter
East Coast Girls
by Kerry Kletter (Goodreads Author)
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It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I worship Kerry Kletter’s writing. And if you’ve ever wondered why, just read this book. From the first sentence to the last, it’s a wrenchingly gorgeous, vital, lyrical, funny, and true-to-life portrait of ...more
Jeff Zentner answered Athena's question:
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Jeff Zentner
When you read THE SERPENT KING, you’ll see other connections in GOODBYE DAYS and RAYNE & DELILAH!
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Muse by Brittany Cavallaro
Muse (Muse, #1)
by Brittany Cavallaro (Goodreads Author)
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Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro
Hello Girls
by Brittany Cavallaro (Goodreads Author)
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I am deeply fortunate to have gotten to read this as a manuscript.

HELLO GIRLS is a razor-sharp union of sidesplitting dark comedy, fierce feminism, and poignant friendship, paced like an Alfa-Romeo at full throttle, and written in gleaming, perfect,
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A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro
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This is my favorite series. Every book is more brilliant than the one that preceded it. Charlotte Holmes is one of the best characters in all of YA.
Jeff Zentner added a status update: Well y’all. RAYNE & DELILAH’S MIDNITE MATINEE is out today. I’m so proud of this book. I’m so grateful to everyone who’s supported me on this wonderful journey. If you’d told me ten years ago that this is what I’d be doing now, I’d never have believed you. Thank you thank you thank you. I hope you love RAYNE & DELILAH’S MIDNITE MATINEE.
Jeff Zentner made a comment on his status
" Preordering is always best! Indie bookstore if possible (they report sales to the NYT). ❤️ "
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Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer
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What if I told you that there’s a style guide written in such an effervescent, wry, witty, engaging voice, that you would want to read it on the beach? What if I told you that it was so expertly written, you can’t help but be a better writer for havi ...more
More of Jeff's books…
“If you're going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“Nothing makes you feel more naked than someone identifying a desire you never knew you possessed.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“For the most part, you don't hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”
Jeff Zentner, Goodbye Days

Topics Mentioning This Author

“If you're going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“What you call pride, I call courage.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“She's it. She's my everything. She's the standard by which I'll judge beauty for the rest of my life. I'll measure every touch to her breath on my skin. Every voice to her voice. Every mind to her mind. My measure of perfection. The name carved into me. If I could, I would lie with her under these stars until my heart burst.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“Writing is something that you can learn only by doing. To become a writer, you need an imagination, which you clearly have. You need to read books, which you clearly do. And you need to write, which you don't yet do, but should.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King

“So when I watch trains, it makes me think about how much movement there is in the world. How every train has dozens of cars and every car has hundreds of parts, and all those parts and cars work day after day. And then there are all these other motions. People are born and die. Seasons change. Rivers flow to the sea. Earth circles the sun and the moon circles Earth. Everything whirring and spinning toward something. And I get to be part of it for a little while, the way I get to watch a train for a minute or two, and then it's gone.”
Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King




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