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The Serpent King

de Jeff Zentner

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9826121,724 (4.18)24
The son of a Pentecostal preacher faces his personal demons as he and his two outcast friends try to make it through their senior year of high school in rural Forrestville, Tennessee without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 61 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
So my friends recommended this book to me. At first I was a little McMad about reading it, because it's about Pentecostal Christianity and abusive fathers, both subjects that hit a little close to home for me. And it's a slow burn, so it took me a while to get through it. Lydia and Dill both come off a little annoying at the start, but Travis struck me as the type of kid I went to high school with, so his character at least felt familiar. Dill and Travis both have unstable family lives and darkness within them, balanced out by Lydia's near-perfect existence. But I found the internal struggle the characters go through to be compelling. Much of the story is about the weight of parental and social pressure for the small-town working class. All three characters deal with questions of familial responsibility, college, and charting a path to adulthood, even if it goes against parents' expectations. All in all it's a sad but hopeful read. ( )
  nilaffle | Nov 6, 2023 |
So I bought book online and they omitted that it was a YA book. For once I am glad they did. This is a fantastic book, the kind that kids should read in school to get them to like reading, rather than “the classics” which usually bore the crap out of most kids. This book doesn’t try to be hip, it tells a fantastic story about 3 best friends Dill, Travis, and Lydia, trying to figure out life in the 21st century with deeply flawed parents in two instances and one friend who doesn’t recognize the love the other two have for her.
Excellent book. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2023 |
Jeff Zentner has some powerful writing ability. I was so wrapped up in the story that I actually felt heart-pounding anger several times; other times tears were flowing and my heart was breaking.

Because the thing is, this is fiction yet it isn't. Things that happen in this novel are not just made up, they are real things, happening every day in homes across this country. Kids are treated badly by their parents, their life choices are restricted by harsh and punitive theology, or they are trapped in economic circumstances that they are powerless to change -- and they face the rest of their lives with little hope of anything better.

It's a sobering story that has me wondering how many times I've failed to pick up on subtle signs that would have told me, "hey, this kid needs a friend."

Awesome work, Mr. Zentner.
( )
  AuntieG0412 | Jan 23, 2023 |
I did most of this book on audio, but with 3 readers who all portrayed multiple characters differently, I don't recommend doing it that way. It's a testament to the author that his fine writing was more powerful than the mixed bag of narration on audio.
Boy, this was rough. For a good chunk of the book, suffering along with Travis and Dill was really hard to take. I drove back and forth to work, yelling, swearing and crying as I listened.
Because I listened to it, I haven't been able to find all the quotes I loved, but I do have two. The first one is said by the wonderful Travis to Dill.
"We need to take care of each other from now on. We need to be each other's family because ours are so messed up. We need to make better lives for ourselves. We gotta start doing stuff we're afraid to do."


And the other quote I loved was when Dill finally had an answer to the pressure his mother was putting on him to have more faith and stay in Forrestville.

"I don't expect you to understand. This is the spirit of God moving in me. This is a sign of my faith. I did this to save myself."


OK, I just remembered one more I need to share, because who can resist the hero finally putting the bully in his place?

"You think you can cause me pain after what I've lived through? Go on. Hit me with your little fist."


Great book. Worthy of any awards it has won or has yet to win. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
I am a long way from high school but I really enjoyed this story. Has a geat trio of main characters, family conflicts, love, tragedy, religous views, and especially becoming your best self. Some may not like what happens but that is how life often is. A really worthwhile read, but I would say it's for about 16 and above. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
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The son of a Pentecostal preacher faces his personal demons as he and his two outcast friends try to make it through their senior year of high school in rural Forrestville, Tennessee without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self.

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O livro de Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King, estava disponível em LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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