Book Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King Book Review

22752127 BOOK: The Serpent King

AUTHOR: Jeff Zentner

FORMAT / PUBLISHER: Paperback / Crown Books for Young Readers


Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending—one that will rock his life to the core.

Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and at times comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible Belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one’s true self in the wreckage of the past.


jasmine sign

Rating: 5 stars

*I would like to thank Penguin Random House for sending me a paperback copy of this book.

This doesn’t affect nor influence my review.*

It was absolutely heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same effing time.

To be honest with you, I was quite hesitant to read this book at first because I actually thought that book is all about snakes because of its title, but when I read the synopsis, KA-BOOM!!! I was like, “okay, this is something about friendship, I should read this ASAP!”. This book was somehow mysterious in a way that I didn’t know what to expect from these three people.


  • As always, stories about friendship make my heart go gaga. They’re so inspiring. Everyone has to read them.
  • It discussed real life situations. Everyone has their own different stories. Other people are so blessed while others aren’t… yet.
  • Dill, Lydia, and Travis — their friendship circle is my most favorite so far. It was indeed friendship GOALS. They had their ups and downs, but everything (almost) went well.
  • Jeff Zentner is one of the authors I know who loves to make his readers enjoy and cry at the same time. I need not to explain this. Go read this fantastic book!

Anyways, I’ll leave my favorite line from this book…

“And if you’re going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”

It’s up to you on what to think about this. I cannot fathom my thoughts correctly. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to everyone! ❤

jasmine's mom sign

Rating: 4.5 stars(!!!)

Mr. Jeff Zentner, I hate that you made me cry (but in a good way). It is very seldom that I cry over a book, however, it strummed memories of the past that I had personally experienced.

Your novel affirmed of the kind of parent that I want to become. It also made me remember my high school friends who is like Dill, Lydia, and Travis.

Cheers for friends who know you deserve more, that you can be better, that you can shine even in your desperation, that will give you surprises that can kill you in delight and will cry for your death.

Like you wrote, “Love deserves monuments” and you got this perfectly right. 🙂




11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

  1. Great review Jasmine and Jasmine’s mom! I’ve heard so many fantastic things about this book, and I think I’ve been itching for an emotional book. I love books that explore friendships (I mean, I love romances but friendships are just as awesome), and this book sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for the review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I saw the cover of this book, I thought that it was some kind of fantasy novel. I was completely stand corrected though. It turned out to be another friendship book that I MUST read! I like how it will make me smile and cry. I like books like that! Great review (yours && your mom’s :D)


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