The Serpent King by Jess Zenter
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mentions of suicide abuse & child porn, Religion (but not a religious book), Coming of age, Death/mourning
This is definitely not my kind of book, but wow…. this was absolutely amazing.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 listened to this audiobook and was really pulled in by the narrators, but I feel even if I had read it I would feel the same. There is something about this book that makes it hard to pull away from.
The book really brought out different characters and it was easy to tell when a different POV was starting (not just because of the voices) they all spoke differently and held themselves differently. It felt beautiful. My favorite character: Travis….. semi-spoiler: I will not cry I will not cry. annnnddd moving on!
I like how religion was a part of this story, but was never bashed too harshly or nonredeemable by a person, everyone had their own way of dealing with it. I wouldn’t say religion was a subject of this book, but definitely a part of some of the characters lives in some shape or form- which seems realistic.
This is about life and dealing with any horrible life you’ve been granted. It is about understanding where people come from and accepting people for all their scars and baggage. Most importantly, I think this book is about not giving up on your dreams– not giving up on living and making it through to a better tomorrow and being yourself.
Alright, Imma go cry now. Go read this book if you haven’t already– seriously, I rec. it for everyone.