Published by Crown BYR/Random House
Publish Date: March 8, 2016
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon
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. (Goodreads)
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Layla's Thoughts: Told from three points of view, this book has the melancholy feel of a small town in the South. Dill, Travis, and Lydia-though very different in terms of opinions and wealth-all three are the best of friends in the sweetest of ways.
Dill's struggle in finding his faith and the real meaning of a family name is gorgeously heartbreaking, and Travis' love of books and literature, as well as the struggles that he goes through, are hopeful. Lydia knows what she is to do in life, but she worries for her friends, who have no such plans.
All three characters are so well written, it was impossible not to get attached. At one point, I was reading it in the car, and I began to cry profusely to the alarm of my father. Jeff Zentner did an absolutely marvelous job of writing a small town mentality, and the entire book grips your soul. This book is a great one to curl up on a stormy day in summer and down in one go.