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: 4.2 · 17,039 ratings · 4,485 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
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Down Don't Bother Me
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by Jason Miller (Goodreads Author)
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Faithful and Virt...
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The Tiger's Wife
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Jeff’s Recent Updates

Jeff Zentner is now friends with Linda Harr
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Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
Damsel
by Elana K. Arnold (Goodreads Author)
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Elana Arnold is a master of writing the struggles of young women and the violence they endure. DAMSEL is a story that feels both modern and ancient, a harrowing and compelling gothic fairytale of a young woman passing through fire to reclaim herself. ...more
Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
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You guys, the brilliance of this book. Where do I start. Okay. Let’s start with fact that we get a Charlotte Holmes POV for much of the book. Charlotte is one of the most incredible characters ever to appear in YA.

She is genius, hilarious, sardonic,
...more
Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
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You guys, the brilliance of this book. Where do I start. Okay. Let’s start with fact that we get a Charlotte Holmes POV for much of the book. Charlotte is one of the most incredible characters ever to appear in YA.

She is genius, hilarious, sardonic,
...more
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐"
Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
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You guys, the brilliance of this book. Where do I start. Okay. Let’s start with fact that we get a Charlotte Holmes POV for much of the book. Charlotte is one of the most incredible characters ever to appear in YA.

She is genius, hilarious, sardonic,
...more
Jeff Zentner rated a book it was amazing
In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner
In Sight of Stars
by Gae Polisner (Goodreads Author)
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I loved this book from start to finish.

It’s an achingly fierce exploration of the way the world wounds us and heals us. If you love exquisitely written coming-of-age stories that will leave you breathless, In Sight of Stars is for you. I wanted to u
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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
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Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin
by Nic Stone (Goodreads Author)
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This book is timely, important, beautifully written, and most of all, an amazing story filled with vibrant characters. It’s short and engaging enough to give to the most reluctant readers, and meaty enough to satisfy the most avid readers. It succeed ...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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