Title: The Serpent King
By: Jeff Zentner
Call #: YA Fiction Zentn.J
The Serpent King takes place in a very small town in the south. It’s a town named after a prominent KKK member. The story is told from three different point of view: Dill, Lydia and Travis. The story focuses the most around Dill, but all three characters are developed. Dill’s father was a preacher who led a signs ministry, where snakes were handled and poison drank during church services. Dill’s father also had a fondness for child porn and got caught and sent to jail. Dill’s statements on the witness stand were key to why his father ended up in jail. Both of Dill’s parents blame him for his father being in jail and having a father in jail doesn’t bode well for surviving high school. Luckily, Dill found Lydia and Travis.
Lydia runs a wildly successful fashion blog and can’t wait to leave town and go to NYU and leave small town closed mindedness behind. She often struggles with who she is online and who she is in real life. Travis and Dill have never been mentioned on her blog, because they’re not fashionable. Lydia is very witty, intelligent and an amazing friend. She has a warm loving family. But she often struggles to see things from Dill and Travis’s perspectives.
Travis was my favorite character. He is a big kind hearted guy with a sweet mom, dead brother and a mean alcoholic father. He is obsessed with Bloodfall, a book series that is eerily similar to The Song of Ice and Fire series. Travis spends time on Bloodfall discussion boards and even starts regularly texting with a girl on there.
The Serpent King takes the reader through the three friends’ senior year, from the high points to the darkest lows. It looks at how friends and love can carry you through the dark times and how following your dreams can take you to new places, but leaving your past behind can be hard.