The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King

by Jeff Zentner

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal
Winner of the American Library Association Morris Award for best debut YA
Winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction
A Buzzfeed Best of 2016 book
Goodreads Choice Awards finalist
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2016
Publishers Weekly Best of 2016

Dill is a misfit in his small, religious Tennessee town. His dad is in prison for a shocking crime, and his mom is struggling to make ends meet. The only things getting Dill through senior year are his guitar and his fellow outcasts, Travis and Lydia.

Travis is an oddball who finds comfort from his violent home life in an epic fantasy book series. And Lydia is like no one else: fast-talking, creative and fiercely protective. Dill fears his heart will break when she escapes to a better life elsewhere. What Dill needs now is some bravery to tell Lydia how he feels, to go somewhere with his music – and to face the hardest test of all when tragedy strikes.

Reviewed by girlinthepages on

5 of 5 stars

My first Emery Lord read was When We Collided, so the bar for not only expectations, but for creativity and eccentricity as well, was set extremely high. You can imagine my shock when I then immediately after read The Start of Me and You, which while a cute contemporary, felt almost as though it was written by a completely different author. The...tameness...of it compared to When We Collided was shocking. While a romance, the novel focused heavily on female friendships (to varying degrees of success...some of them were great, and some of the girls felt a bit like stereotypes). While fluffy, the undercurrent of the story hinged on a rather morbid, traumatic experience, with Paige having experienced a loss in her past that has overshadowed her high school social and emotional growth. However, though it felt a little young to me, The Start of Me and You did have some sweet moments with depth and had a warm, feel good conclusion that provided the perfect amount of closure for Paige's story.

Overall: A sweet, quick read that has a some swoon-worthy moments over a refreshingly realistic love interest. This review was originally posted on Girl in the Pages

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 23 May, 2016: Finished reading
  • 23 May, 2016: Reviewed