The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner Blog Tour

I'm beyond excited to take part in this blog tour today because this book...this book. I'll let these killer trade reviews say it for me!

“Characters, incidents, dialogue, the poverty of the rural South, enduring friendship, a desperate clinging to strange faiths, fear of the unknown, and an awareness of the courage it takes to survive, let alone thrive, are among this fine novel's strengths. Zentner writes with understanding and grace—a new voice to savor.”
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“[T]his sepia-toned portrait of small-town life serves as a moving testament to love, loyalty, faith, and reaching through the darkness to find light and hope. Zentner explores difficult themes head on—including the desire to escape the sins of the father and the fragility of happiness—while tempering them with the saving grace of enduring friendship.”
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Crown Books For Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: From Publisher For Review
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.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I have tried to verbally describe this book to many and I always end up falling short when it comes to its brilliance. This is a coming of age story following three high school seniors that cannot be missed. It is so powerful, so real, so important. 

One reason I loved this book is because I saw a bit of myself in these characters. I suppose I relate to it in a sense because of my desperation to get out of my small town back when I was in high school. Sure, I was not dealing with what Dill and the crew were dealing with, and small town Northern New Jersey is very different from small town poisonous rattlesnake-ridden Tennessee, but the desperation to escape a legacy others have forced upon you due to past events that were out of your control is something that I--and any small town individual--can relate to. Zentner hits the nail on the head and makes these memories come flooding back to the surface. All too real.

What sets this apart from other coming of age contemporaries--the best kind of contemporary, if you ask me--is the setting. His characters are quirky in the best possible way, his setting is entirely unique and unexplored territory for me as a reader, and his storytelling weaves beautifully through the pages, making this book a breeze to get through. This isn't just another coming of age story, all that makes it different makes it a gem worth diving into to follow Dill, Travis, and Lydia in their desperation to create better leaves for themselves as they are on the cusp of adulthood. 

It's so weird saying that seeing as this was me just three short years ago.

The Serpent King is a book that's going to stick in your mind and wedge itself in there for a good, long while. It'll make you think, ache, feel. Zentner crafts a beautiful and important story that I think will satisfy any reader, and I'd run to a bookstore to grab it off the shelves today.



Fortunately for you, I am the second to last post on this tour. This means you can click through the links below and take a look at a ton of amazing content already posted regarding this book! Check it out!

Monday, February 22: Jenuine Cupcakes, Kickoff Blog Tour Post
Tuesday, February 23: Book Hounds, Review
Wednesday, February 24: Mundie Moms, Review
Thursday, February 25: Curling Up With a Good Book, Review
Friday, February 26: To Read or Not to Read, Annotate a Scene Guest Post
Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle, Review
Tuesday, March 1: The Book Swarm, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Katie’s Book Blog, Playlist Post
Thursday, March 3: Paperback Princess, Guest Post: Writing a Character with a Parent in Prison
Friday, March 4: Who R U, Behind the Scenes Book Secret Guest Post
Monday, March 7: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, March 8: Stories & Sweeties, Author Interview
Wednesday, March 9: LovingDemBooks, Review
Thursday, March 10: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, March 11: Good Books And Good Wine, Review
Monday, March 14: Winter Haven Books, Review
Tuesday, March 15: Me, My Shelf and I, Review
Wednesday, March 16: Novel Novice, Review
Thursday, March 17: Lili’s Reflections, Review
Friday, March 18: A Reader of Fictions, Author “Don’t Miss” in Nashville Guest Post

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