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The Serpent King

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  17,446 ratings  ·  4,049 reviews
This is an Alternate Cover edition for ASIN B00ZNE17D2

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.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friends
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House
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Supriya Given this is set in a small town in the South, there is some fundamentalism (actually pentecostals speaking in tongues) but that is only one characte…moreGiven this is set in a small town in the South, there is some fundamentalism (actually pentecostals speaking in tongues) but that is only one character. The author has beautifully shown the diversity within the three characters and how very different their background, ideals and outlook on life is, despite having grown up in the same town.

It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, and definitely has nothing to do with theism/atheism - it is a simple story of people from different backgrounds fighting for what they believe in, and fighting to create a better life for themselves being true to who they are. They fight to not let guilt and whether it is family, religion, society, beliefs, get in the way of their happiness and peace. Such a brilliant book!(less)
Brandy I would say yes. I have read some "YA" books that I have blushed at, but this one is very suitable and age appropriate for a mature 14 year old reader…moreI would say yes. I have read some "YA" books that I have blushed at, but this one is very suitable and age appropriate for a mature 14 year old reader. (less)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  17,446 ratings  ·  4,049 reviews

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Warning: This review will risk some controversy! Just remember if you read it that I approach everything with an open mind and that I know that my opinion does not match everyone’s – meaning I know that we are all different and I would not argue with people on here to prove that my opinion is correct.

Overall, I thought this was a great book. It was very easy to read. The story was creative and the characters were interesting. At times, emotions ran high and it hit my feels in all the right place
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book just knocked a whole lot of books down on my favorites list and it's a young adult book. It's one of my top books ever and I'm terrified to review it because I'm so scared that I can't do it any justice and I want everyone to read this book.

People live quiet lives and that's okay. There's dignity in that, no matter what you may think.

Set in a rural Tennessee small town that was named after a big wig in the KKK the story takes place over one year. One year in the life of three teenager
Jeff Zentner
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this book, and I'm giving it five stars--not because I think it's a flawless book. Rather, because in it, I was able to say exactly what I wanted to say, tell the exact story I needed to tell, and because Dill, Lydia, and Travis were born into the world exactly as they came to me in my mind.

I'm giving it five stars because it has resulted in my meeting the most amazing people--readers, booksellers, teachers, librarians, bloggers, reviewers, other authors--and making some of the best frie
Wendy Darling
This felt very much like a debut, and unfortunately, none of the characters or story arcs surprised me or touched me nearly as much as they were supposed to. Best to sample this if you're curious, as I think you can tell fairly early on if the writing style suits you.

Apparently I'm the black sheep on this one, though. Baaaaa!

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

A Note to Those Who Think This Book is Amazing: This is one of those books that seems like a magnet for people who loved it to co
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘if youre going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.’

if you asked me what i took away from this story, it would be the importance of living life with dignity and courage. the courage to be yourself. the courage to forge your own path. the courage to leave for better things. the courage to stand up for yourself and others. the courage to question what you believe. the courage to do what scares you. and most importantly, the courage to live life. we could all do
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
THIS. FREAKING. BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I loved it sooooooooooooooo much. It broke my freaking heart and gave me joy and broke my heart some more. It's just so wonderful! And the feels in this book are beyond what I can say in my pitiful little review. All I know is if you have been meaning to read this book and have been putting if off, READ IT - you just might find it as wonderful as I did.

The main characters are, Dill, Travis and Lydia and I love them so much! They are so
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great coming of age story!
Warning contents may contain spoilers!
The religious beliefs are part of the background. I didn't get the impression that the author was anti-Christian, nor even especially opposed to snake handling as an expression of faith. There are communities where it is a demonstration of belief. Dill's life is in one. In a lot of ways, it’s the least of his problems. His father is Pastor Early.
It had thoroughly scandalized Forestville, Tennessee when Pastor Early of the Ch
C.G. Drews
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW FREAKING AMAZING THIS BOOK IS AND HOW MUCH I ADORE IT. Well, wait. I will use words. Psychotic words most likely BUT WORDS because omg I loved this book so much. It is gut-wrenching and precious and inspiring and hopeful and balances darkness and hope using some of the best storytelling I've experienced in a long time. There is not enough FLAILING in the world for how much I want to FLAIL RIGHT NOW.

Shout out to this book for existing! Shout out to it for smashi
And if you're going to live, you might as well do painful, brave and beautiful things...

Great book, heartbreaker & feelgood... review to follow. First, to work!
....Home from work! But tired...I'm not as young as the main character youngsters in this book :-) I'll tell this: the book was wonderful until about 60%, then I lost a bit of interest, and it picked up again in the end. Four stars! Story of three young friends final year in college, going to university and knowing they will go their dif
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Against a backdrop of rural Tennessee, The Serpent King follows the perspectives of three teens: Dill, Lydia and Travis.

A solid friendship trio, who are easy to get behind!

It's their Senior year of high school and the three of them are struggling to break free of the molds set for them by their parents and other adults.

In addition, they are also exploring who they are as people, independent from their families, and trying to determine what sort of life they would like to lead.

This story is in
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel... overwhelmed and content and broken and hopeful at the same time.
I can’t believe this is Jeff Zentner’s debut novel. I don’t really know how to articulate into words how this story crept up on me without me even realising it and laid itself comfortably within me. These characters and their lives felt real so me and during the course that I was reading this book in, they absolutely became a part of my life and I feel like their stories will linger and it’ll be a source of courage and ho
I love to suffer.

I first read this book as an ARC three years ago, and I remembered nothing about it. Except one thing:

It made me very, very, very sad.

Armed with that knowledge and that knowledge only, I reread it.

I have no excuse other than my penchant for pain.

Once again I read this book, and once again it made me SO SAD.

I don’t necessarily love the characters in this book. They can be kind of annoying (especially one in particular. Okay yes I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU, LYDIA, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“If you’re going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”

A week or so ago I claimed that it would be hard to top Dark Matter as my best read of 2016. Turns out I lied. It wasn’t that hard at all. Once again Shelby (or more specifically, her NetGalley addiction) gets the credit for putting this one on my radar. She’s a horrible old bitty like me and rarely gives out the 5 Stars so when she raved about The
Adam Silvera
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This book will punch you in the heart. In a good way. A punch to the heart isn't usually a good idea, but it is here. THE SERPENT KING is a literary knockout pulsing with faith, tragedy, and hope. ...more
Larry H
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Life is pretty tough for Dill Early. It wasn't always easy growing up as the son of a controversial Pentecostal minister who, along with members of his congregation, handled rattlesnakes and drank poison. But when his father runs afoul of the law and winds up in prison, life gets even harder for Dill. He must deal with the constant bullying of his high school classmates and the suspicion and cruel treatment of former church members and others in his small town of Forrestville, Tennessee.

The futu
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Some reviews—a pitiful few—seem to write themselves, while others require extensive time to collect my thoughts, or a knock-down-drag-out battle with procrastination. But once in a blue moon, I stumble across a story like this one that’s another animal altogether.

After finishing this book, rather than posting a timely review like a decent little goodreader, I instead teased out an absurd question, “Do I dare slap five stars on a silly little young adult story?” Well . . . now that my emotional
Rick Riordan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, uplifting, genuine and beautiful — those are the first words that come to mind about The Serpent King. The story revolves around three very different friends growing up in Forrestville, Tennessee. (Or Forestville, as our female protagonist insists on calling it, since the town was named after Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, so ‘the extra r stands for racist.’) Lydia has the most functional family in our trio of heroes. Her folks are comfortably well-off. They support and love ...more
Kayla Dawn
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This was nowhere near as heartbreaking as I expected it to be and Dill was being a major dick 90% of the time. Honestly I will never get why some people think it is okay to act like a total dickhead, just because your life is shitty or because you had a hard past. I dont think that is an excuse for being an asshole.

But this was still very beautiful and moving. I especially enjoyed the writing style and Travis' character. He was so incredibly wholesome.

I'd recommend this to everyone who enjoys
Trina (Between Chapters)
Edited to add: I've since let my friends spoil me on what happened in the end of this book and it makes me so glad that I DNFed it. I was about 7 pages away from the meat of the plot being introduced. I definitely stand by my original opinion that this book was terribly plotted if I had no clue what the book was about when I quit, over halfway through. The stereotypes and lack of depth present make me feel confident in rating this 1 star. You may find quality here, but I personally didn't.

♛ may
Full review posted:

I have no idea how I’m going to convey all the feelings this book gave me into coherent words…do I really have to??

Times are simpler when no one hates you because of your name and it doesn’t occur to you to be ashamed of it.

This book tells the story of our three characters:
1) An internet famous fashion icon who is unapologetically herself
2) A tragic boy shackled in his father’s shadow
3) A burly lumberjack of a boy who is made from marshmallow and sprinkles and deserves ever
A finished copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Told in the point of views of three characters Dill, Travis and Lydia, we have a story that is memorable, deep and tragic. Dill has a reputation trashed by his father. Travis has an obsession with a book series that is similar to "Game of Thrones" and Lydia is the smart sassy fashion blogger who wants nothing but to head out to college and leave the small Tennessee town behind. 

I can't even begin to write this review because I'm all choked
Charlotte May
Well this was a heart wrencher!!

“We need to take care of each other from now on. We need to be each other’s family because ours are so messed up. We need to make better lives for ourselves. We gotta start doing stuff we’re afraid to do.”

I’d heard great things about this contemporary and I was not disappointed.

Told in 3 perspectives.
We have Dill, a young musician living in the shadow of his terribly “religious” father - imprisoned for a terrible crime.
Travis, who reads an epic fantasy serie
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Every school has them, kids that don't readily fit in with everyone else. In The Serpent King, we have three teens in their final year of high school, Travis, Dill, and Lydia, who have become fast friends, drawn together by their otherness. They are the irregular weaves, used to being the butt of jokes and providing target practice for bullies, the proverbial square pegs who are never going to fit into the round holes that house their classmates so well.

Dill's mother is a bible-thumping nightmar
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Still as perfect as I remember it to be, perfect in that heart-wrenching way my heart loves and doesn't seem to get enough of :)

Buddy reread with Y'all are missing if you're not buddy reading with this girl
Fabian {Councillor}
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who can read
When I opened this book, I expected a lot of things, but never would I have thought that it was going to receive a place among my absolute favorite books, with the definite guarantee of rereading this one day (maybe I should mention here that I hardly ever reread a book).

The Serpent King is Jeff Zentner's debut novel, and what a novel it is. He has been a guitarist and songwriter, having released five albums before focusing his attention on writing novels for young adults. But this novel doesn't
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hamad by: Fares
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“If you’re going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”

🌟 Honest Hamad strikes again and he’s here to tell you that he was never a fan of the synopsis of the story. He only read this because he loved Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner!

🌟 This is Jeff Zentner’s debut and I have heard great things about it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it but after Goodbye days joined my tear worthy books, I

This was SUCH an emotionally taxing read!!! ughhhh

I’m so drained and no chapter’d ever made me cry quite like a certain chapter in here.

It was a beautiful poignant read but I did not care for the excessive amount of christian baiting.
Laurie Flynn
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My bordering-on-rabid desire to read this book has been well documented. To the point where every time I saw it praised on social media, I became ever-so-slightly bitter that I hadn’t yet read it. So when I attended the ALA conference last weekend and saw ARCs, I grabbed one right away. I also squealed in a decidedly unprofessional manner (there were witnesses). I started reading on the plane home because I couldn’t wait any longer.

I had heard the writing was powerful, original, masterful. It i
Aj the Ravenous Reader

There is a pervading air of mystery throughout the novel keeping me wide awake and curious from the very start even though at the surface, there seems little going on in the plot. Basically about three friends on their last year of high school and how they are supposed to conquer/submit to (it depends on the three characters’ perspectives) the life that shall follow. While Lydia has it all planned out with her perfect life, Dill and Travis seem resigned with what they already have in their small
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Fuck. This book is going to stick with me for a long, long time. I'm currently bouncing back and forth between giving this a 4 or a 5 star review, but for now I think I'm going to give it the full 5 stars. I just. Man. This book was heavy. So, so heavy. ...more
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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

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