Indies Introduce

Young Adult

  • The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner
    Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780553524024, March 8, 2016 (Young Adult)

    The Serpent King and its characters lurked in my head for weeks after reading this debut novel. Dill, Travis, and Lydia’s story, bumpy and sometimes tragic as it is, is a real story of friendship and heart.

    Shoshana Smith, The Reading Bug, (San Carlos, CA)

    This book WRECKED me. I immediately fell in love with these three outcasts in their final year of high school in a rural Tennessee town named after the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. Dill, a dark and brooding musician and son of a disgraced preacher who practiced signs ministry, fears his best friend (and more?) moving away and leaving him to the darkness that boils inside him, a legacy inherited from generations of men in his family on the verge of madness. Lydia, whip-smart and funny, tries to balance everything she wants in life—fashion, writing her popular blog, going to college in New York City—with leaving the people and place she loves despite herself. Travis, sweet and passionate, is content with leading a quieter life, working in the lumberyard while inventing characters and sharing his thoughts on his favorite fantasy book series with other readers online. As with many teenagers, these three find solace and strength in each other, especially when family issues or unforeseen circumstances are holding them down. With lovely writing that made me ache for the characters, The Serpent King wasn’t at all what I expected, and even though it left me sobbing in a bagel shop, I can’t wait to hand it to everyone. 

    Danielle Borsch, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

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