Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner


22752127Title: The Serpent King

Author: Jeff Zentner

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House

Synopsis: 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.


Told from a three person point of view, The Serpent King follows the story of three teenagers. Dill is the son of a pastor that has been incarcerated for his heinous crimes. Dill has been left to deal with the repercussions of his father’s sins. Lydia is a semi-famous fashion blogger with loving and caring parents. She cannot wait to get out of her small town and start fashion school. Travis is a book nerd with a huge heart. He is secretly dealing with living inside a horrible home.

These three characters are the most realistic and developed characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Even though they had their flaws, they have become one of my favorite group of misfit friends to ever have existed. There is nothing more wonderful than a group of friends who genuinely care for each other and who go out of each other’s way to make their friends happy and cared for.

I feel like this book came out of nowhere. I had never heard of this book and all of a sudden, I am seeing this book everywhere I go…and for good reason. The Serpent King took my breath away and swept me off my feet. Never have I ever come so close to actually crying over a book… Never have I been so heartbroken and so fill to the brim with love over a book. This book is about love, loss, religion, overcoming, and most importantly, friendship. This book was so much better than I had anticipated and I truly believe that everyone should give this book a chance. And you ask, “What makes this contemporary novel different than the thousands out there?” The Serpent King will stand out from the rest because of heart and pure, raw talent.

5 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


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 years.

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his website.


One thought on “Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

  1. Pingback: Waiting on Wednesday: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner | One Night Book Stand

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s