Rating: 3.5 Stars.
Short Summary: Three senior high school students come to grips with the reality of their futures while trying to overcome their dark family pasts in small town Tennessee.
What I liked: Dill and Travis were really well written conflicted characters. I’d felt like I’d read about a kid like Travis before, but Dill was new. Dill had the kind of baggage you don’t often see in novels, but still exists within realistic fiction. The element of the religious followings and keeping of serpents was fascinating, but considering it was titled “The Serpent King” I had expected to see more.
What I didn’t: The book played a little too freely with time. There were moments when time passed slowly, and we were taken in through every day life. But in contrast, there were moments when time tended to pass quite quickly. Two week blocks, month long blocks flew seamlessly by and this inconsistency was unsettling
The ending seemed to drag. The last 30-40 pages could have easily been condensed. I’m not a big fan of when a book carries on for too long.
Although Lydia was an enjoyable character, her lack of conflict made for a little more boring storyline. Her most charming moments were her face offs against her other classmates (which weren’t that plentiful). I would have loved to see more of that kind of conflict in her storyline.
Recommendation: It’s a different kind of realistic fiction piece. I would save it for an older crowd. If you can get by the timing inconsistencies, its an alright read.