Written by Jeff Zentner, is about three friends, high school outcasts, who are walking into their senior year from two different backgrounds. That’s right, three friends two backgrounds. Two of the characters, Dill and Travis have different stories but they understand each other. They both come from families with hard fathers, not a lot of money, and the idea that there isn’t any way for them to really work their way out. Lydia, the third friend, comes from an upper middle class family and runs her own blog that has over a hundred thousand followers. Yet, they are all friends. Dill considers Lydia his best friend. And, of course, he has a crush on her.
I had no idea what to expect walking into this book. It was on a book club list from a few months ago, and I didn’t actually read it (I had a physical copy for months from the library) till I saw the audio book was available. Hello, long weekend drives.
This was a great audio book. The only complaint I have is that, because this story is told from three perspectives, each narrator would try and do the other character’s voices themselves. I would have preferred for them to keep the same narrator with the corresponding voice, no matter who is narrating. It took something away from the story when they had each actor do all three voices.
Story wise, this was a great novel. Great not only from a YA perspective, but from a religious and adult perspective as well. What these kids go through isn’t limited just to high schoolers, but happens to everyone. Which I will discuss below after the spoiler warning.
This is the kind of novel I would recommend to any, and probably every, teenager. Adults too. The Serpent King walks you through three different lives and how they interweave. It shows you a great example of how we don’t always realize how what we do affects others. Honestly, its a book that is worth giving a shot every time.
Got to put a little space in here for this.
I loved Travis’ character. He was the most real of the three, and truly the most honorable. I cried when what happened happened.
With that, I found myself also getting a little made with the characters. By the end of the year, yes, they were together, but it still seemed like Travis was fading away. Which is what happens when someone dies, and is healthy, but it still hurt. Probably because we are able to just flip back a few pages and have him be there again, while for them he is really, truly, always gone.
The other great thing this novel dealt with was religion. This novel didn’t avoid the topic, didn’t have the main characters fall in and lead the signs church, but it did show what religion often looks like to the average person. It is something that you struggle with. It is something that you don’t always think about, but does end up being there. Each character had their own different thoughts and opinions on the mater.
Having a novel that discusses a signs church is interesting. I learned that a lot of people outside of the south have never heard of such a thing.
Again, a great book. Might make you cry. What happens to Travis is so sudden, and so much more real than a lot of deaths that happen in books.