The Serpent King - YA Review by Veronica K

Reader: Veronica K.
Age: 14
Title: The Serpent King
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pub Date: 03/08/16
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: In the beginning, this book felt slow. The plot didn't make much sense to me, and it didn't feel like it was going anywhere. But it picked up fairly quickly, and that helped it along. 
     The characters were amazing. I felt like I knew them, why they were doing certain things, why they thought the way they did. I liked how different chapters were in different perspectives. Other people have tried this, like Rick Roirdan in his Egypt and Roman series, but I think this book is the only one I've read that truly pulled this technique off. It really helped me understand the characters. Honestly, I think the characters are the best part of this book.
     There are a few details that I would have liked added, that I think would have added to the plot, and the book in general. Some of the songs Dill wrote would have been nice. We got to see Lydia's blog, so why not the songs? Also, more from the dad. Dill Sr. seems to be the reason Dill Jr.'s life is so miserable, but we don't learn much about him. I get that the book is about the kid, but I think the dad would have been able to further expand on the kid's character.
Memorable or Forgettable: Why is this book memorable? The emotion. There are bad books where the characters don't feel. There are okay books where just the characters feel. And there are good books where the reader feels. This is a book where you get weird looks in public because you are crying over it. Spoilers: Seriously! The author took the character I related to most and murdered him! And the characters are reacting, and the writing is reacting, and this is basically an emotional bomb! So yeah. This book is memorable because of the emotion.
Cover: I guess the cover is okay. It doesn't really sway my might-read-the-book-ness. It does reflect the contents.
Age Range: 12 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q - Better than most
Popularity: 4P - Broad general teen appeal

tags: coming of age / Southern fiction / ya lit

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