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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.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.
A spectacular and heartbreaking debut from author, Jeff Zenter; based on the love and sacrifice of friendship. The Serpent King, revolves around the home life and what it means to be a friend for 3 seniors in high school – Dill, Lydia and Travis. Dill is the most prominent character in the book, his horrible home life and his depression is the stories main focus but we see bits and pieces of Lydia and Travis as well.
Dill’s father was an evangelistic preacher who had a liking for underage girls, which is why he is in jail and Dill is being punished for his actions (or lack thereof). Bullied at school and at home, he just wants to get away but that is not a possibility. He is stuck taking care of problems at home. Lydia, one of Dills best friends and his secret crush pushes him in the other direction. She wants to see him succeed, but she really doesn’t understand the situation. She has the perfect family, in the perfect little town, good student with a famous blog – she is ready to hit the door running when they graduate even if it means leaving her friends behind. She does not understand why her friends are fine living in this town and the life they hate. Travis makes the threesome of friends and he is still kind of a loner, book nerd living for the next book in his favorite series to come out (think GOT ultimate fan). His life is already planned out – taking over the family business – which he wants to do he just hates his horrible abusive father. The friends have their ups and downs and the fight and tease each other but it isn’t until a tragic accident sets everything into motion to change their course.
I totally fell head over heels for this book. So far it is my favorite read of 2016. Reading this as a mother is gut wrenching, what Dill and Travis go through made me ugly cry, I wanted to murder Dill’s mom. I am not sure I have ever despised a character that much in a book before. I really enjoyed how Lydia worked with Dill, she recognized his depression and tried to help him through it.