(This is probably my longest review I’ve posted so far. I don’t know why but I feel like if I keep writing then maybe I will be able to do this book justice because I want everyone to read it. So um if you don’t like long reviews I’m sorry for this extra long one.) -added after I finished writing.
Okay wow. This book was just wow. I can’t even deal with how great this book was. I was literally sobbing for like five straight chapters because just wow. I keep saying wow because that’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. Just wow.
At first, I didn’t have much time to read this book, and I always hate when my weeks are like that. But then I just finished it. The last half of this amazing book was read in bed, with tear streaked cheeks.
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.
So this book obviously provoked a mountain of emotions from me. Which basically just resulted in a lot of ugly crying, but that’s beside the point. This book was amazing. And I don’t often say that books are amazing and whole heartedly mean it, but with this book…it’s just the absolute truth.
I don’t even know how to start my review because I don’t just want to write a review with nothing but praise but wow. I myself am not a Christian, I’m not one for religion in general. I mean, I won’t be rude to people of religion but it’s not really for me. This book talks a lot about Christianity and it does so in a way that I didn’t feel weird reading it. I can’t exactly describe what I mean, and that probably isn’t the best but I’ve read at least one Christian book where I’ve felt as if the author was trying (in a way) to make the reader see the good in becoming a Christian. I didn’t feel at all like that’s what this book was trying to do.
I loved all 3 characters and I love the way they each got a chapter for their POV. It was great to see how Dill, Travis, and Lydia all reacted differently to different situations. You were given insight into their home lives, not just how they acted around their friends and I honestly live to read books like that.
Lydia is honestly the girl who I’d want to be friends with in school. She doesn’t follow the small town norms and she isn’t afraid to not fit in. I adore her as a character and I loved the fact that she had such good comebacks for the kids at her high school. She always stood up for her friends and never took shit from anyone. She is the kind of girl (and friend) I strive to be honestly.
Dill is such a sweet guy who really doesn’t deserve all the torment he gets in high school. His two friends are the light in his seemingly endless hallway of darkness. He is living with his families debt, which he is supposed to just gladly accept as his burden as well. Like who even does that to their kid. His mom can’t wait for him to drop out of high school so he can help her pay off the debt. She doesn’t care about his education. His entire home life is a fricken mess.
Travis is basically me. He loves a fantasy series and reads it over and over. I fell in love with him as soon as I started reading about him. I felt for him when he went through certain things (no spoilers aye) and when something didn’t work out for him I felt like I needed to protect him. I ended up loving all of these characters so much more than I thought I would.
Spoilers in the next 2 paragraphs
Okay okay okay but when Travis died I literally had to stop reading because my eyes were clouded with tears. I was not expecting that and it was such a shock to me that I probably won’t get over it for a while. I was so tempted to throw the book across the room because my baby Travis is gone 😦 . He didn’t do anything. He didn’t deserve to be killed for drug money 😦 . He was such a great character who was always there for his friends and this only made his death so much more unbearable. I did however like that the author continued to incorporate him into the last few chapters of the story. He was gone, yes, but to Dill and Lydia, he was still very much a part of their lives.
Oh, and how the author does the description of their downward spiral into depression is one that I’ve never had the pleasure of reading. Not that depression is pleasing to read about but the way he writes it in such clarity is just amazing to me. I personally have gone through some of the things that Dill and Lydia struggle with and if anything that just helped me relate to the story more. The raw emotions that are portrayed in this book make you feel like you want to do what Dill does. Stay in bed. Not get up. But it’s not just about their depression, it’s about how they are able to move on. How they become stronger people, people who can push themselves out of their depression. They become people who stand up for themselves (Dill especially in the end) and they leave. They leave the toxic small town. This book shows that while things can get pretty shitty, they can also get better. You just have to let it.
I am defiantly going to recommend this book to anyone and everyone because it’s just amazing. I got my copy in Owlcrates march box and I’m so happy I did because I probably wouldn’t have bought it till after myself placed book buying ban (3 months to go!). And to you, reading this, if you haven’t read or added The Serpent King to your TBR then you should without a doubt do so because it is 100% worth the read.