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Download The Serpent King Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Zentner Narrator: Ethan Sawyer, Ariadne Meyers, Michael Crouch Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 fan-girl 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Serpent King gripped me in its coils and kept me turning pages late into the night. A triumph of love and dignity.”

    Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author

  • Characters, incidents, dialogue, the poverty of the rural South, enduring friendship, a desperate clinging to strange faiths, fear of the unknown, and an awareness of the courage it takes to survive, let alone thrive, are among this fine novel’s strengths. Zentner writes with understanding and grace—a new voice to savor. Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
  • [T]his sepia-toned portrait of small-town life serves as a moving testament to love, loyalty, faith, and reaching through the darkness to find light and hope. Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Thorough characterization and artful prose allow readers to intimately experience the highs and lows of these three friends .... Recommended for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. School Library Journal
  • Pens would run dry if readers were to underline extraordinary sentences—the kind that are so true, or funny, or beautiful that they clamp hearts .... [An] extraordinary YA debut. Starred Review, Shelf Awareness
  • Zentner’s great achievement — particularly impressive for a first novel — is to make us believe three such different people could be friends. He also manages to blend a dank, oppressive, Flannery O’Connor-esque sense of place with humor and optimism .... I adored all three of these characters and the way they talked to and loved one another. New York Times Book Review
  • Selected, Indie Next List Top Ten, 2016
    Selected, Paste Magazine and popcrush.com 's list of Most Anticipated YA Books, 2016
  • “A story about friendship, family, and forgiveness, it’s as funny and witty as it is utterly heartbreaking.”

    Paste Magazine

  • “Pens would run dry if readers were to underline extraordinary sentences—the kind that are so true, or funny, or beautiful that they clamp hearts…[An] extraordinary YA debut.”

    Shelf Awareness (starred review)

  • “Three narrators deliver the alternating voices of three protagonists…Ariadne Meyers renders the wit and confidence of Lydia… Michael Crouch portrays Dill’s disguised passion for Lydia and barely constrained disgust for his snake-handling preacher father…Ethan Sawyer contrasts Travis’ gentle, dreamy nature with the menacing tone of his demeaning father. All the narrators deliver nuanced, engaging depictions, which strengthen as the characters grow and their relationships evolve. Listeners will be engrossed by their disturbing stories. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Zentner explores difficult themes head on—including the desire to escape the sins of the father and the fragility of happiness—while tempering them with the saving grace of enduring friendship.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A touching debut chronicles the coming-of-age of three high school seniors, misfits, and best friends…Characters, incidents, dialogue, the poverty of the rural South, enduring friendship, a desperate clinging to strange faiths, fear of the unknown, and an awareness of the courage it takes to survive, let alone thrive, are among this fine novel’s strengths. Zentner writes with understanding and grace—a new voice to savor.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The third-person narration manages to convey distinct flavor for each deeply personal and introspective story line, so each character emerges as an authentic individual, flawed yet lovable, and readers will find themselves drawn by the heartstrings into their complex lives.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

  • “Zentner offers a contemporary young adult novel that explores many issues common with teenagers today—bullying, life after high school, and the coming together and breaking apart of high school friendships. Thorough characterization and artful prose allow readers to intimately experience the highs and lows of these three friends.”

    School Library Journal

  • “A musician himself, Zentner transitions to prose easily in his debut, pulling in complex issues that range from struggles with faith to abuse to grief.”

    Booklist

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Paste Magazine Pick of YA Books
  • A Pop Crush Pick
  • On the Indie Next List of Top Ten Books
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