Save The Date: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

To learn more about why I created/started doing this Save The Date feature back in 2012 and how it differs from my reviews — go here!

 I received this book for review consideration and that has zero affect on my opinions on it. PINKIE SWEAR.


The Serpent King

* Release date according to Goodreads

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Pre-Order It | Add It To Goodreads

What The Serpent King is about:

Dill has always been a little bit of an outcast with a super religious Pentecostal preacher dad whose preaching is a bit unorthodox and extreme — aka his congregation frequently handles poisonous snakes during the sermon. But he fell even further into outcast land, and pretty hard, after his father’s public and awful fall from grace which has affected a lot at home, too. His two best friends, Lydia and Travis, are fellow outcasts in their small Southern town. Lydia runs a very popular fashion blog, dresses quite differently than her classmates and has her eye on moving to NYC as soon as high school is over. Travis, mostly content with staying after graduation, is often lost in a popular fantasy series and its fandom where he finds people who GET him. They’ve always stuck together to survive this town but now, with graduation nearing, the uncertainty of the future and their friendship going forward weighs heavily as plans to leave and stay are made and dreams are becoming realized.

Why You Should Be Saving The Date for The Serpent King:

Do you know that feeling when you read something and you are just like YEP. THAT’S IT. THIS IS PERFECT. THIS IS THE KIND OF BOOK I LIVE FOR”? Pretty much the whole time I was reading The Serpent King I felt like this. It’s this feeling I can’t describe and I wish I had the words for it. It’s just this feeling I get whenever I encounter a new favorite book or a book that just has something special. The Serpent King is both of those things. It was everything. It had all the things I want out of a book no matter what the genre is. I have to be honest — my go-to is contemporary YA — but lately, while I’ve been loving many I’ve read, I haven’t been having those books that just stop me in my tracks as much as I used to. But The Serpent King? Like the venom from a serpent, this book made quick work of coursing its magic through me as I read and affecting every inch of my being until by the end I just was rendered incapacitated and alone in a puddle of book feels with one massive book hangover to which there is no anti-venom for.


I don’t want to spoil anything at all for you so here’s why you should be saving the date:

  • Southern setting on point. Gawwwwd I love good Southern fiction.
  • ragtag group of outcast friends are the best
  • Jeff Zentner drove a tractor trailer over my heart…..over and over and over. No, really, I ugly cried a few times — at certain things but also at these small moments that maybe weren’t big deals but they just took hold of me emotionally — happy things, sad things, etc. I EMOTED A LOT OKAY.
  • Incredibly flawless writing….like I just want to linger in it for longer.
  • A heartachingly real exploration of that time where you are on the cusp of The Future that everyone has always talked about but has seemed unattainable — coming from 3 characters with very different visions and hopes and realities for the future.
  • an incredible depiction of small town life (you have no idea how much I relived my small town roots from before my mom moved us away because she was Lydia in that sense)
  • SO MUCH HEART in these quirky characters — they just leap off the page


A Sneak Peek: “And, most of all, there was the crushing weight of destiny. The ossifying conviction that he was living out some ancient and preordained plan, encoded in his blood, built into the architecture of his name. Something horrible and inevitable.” (This quote came from an ARC of The Serpent King so this could vary from the final published version as an FYI)


Who Should Save The Date: everyone. No really. Like I RARELY, and you know this, give sweeping recommendations but I don’t care what you normally read or if you don’t like YA or contemporary stories this book is one I will be recommending to everyone and like giving zero craps about what you like because it’s that good.


Be on the lookout for my FULL review closer to the release date where I will flesh out my thoughts a little more with more specifics!


Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. oooh! Really looking forward to this ones release date so I can get my hands on it! Sounds super interesting! XD

  2. Well, if you say so… *adds to Goodreads TBR*
    This book sounds great, as I’m sure that was your intention with this post/review! You’ve got me interested, now I’ll be waiting for your full review to really convince me, as I am not a person who read YA contemporary very often (I’m a fantasy girl at heart!)

    • YEAY!! I hope my full review will really convince you. I’m really hesitant to make sweeping recs when I know some people don’t read contemporary but sometimes I have to break my rule for a few books that should just be read no matter what! It’s just such a damn good story!

  3. Oh wow! It’s incredible that you feel like The Serpent King is a book that could potentially work for all readers, Jamie. I’m really curious about it now, particularly because these three characters are basically on the cusp of a big change in their lives and I LOVE reading about moments like that!

  4. This is a book I would probably normally ignore, based on the title and it being about a boy and just not looking much like something I’m normally into. But you’ve just changed my mind!!! Thanks so much for making this book sound so cool and me, when it looked anything but!


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