The Serpent King | Book Playlist

If you’ve been following my blog and/or me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me
rave/cry/scream/word-vomit/profess my love for Jeff Zentner’s debut The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerTHE SERPENT KING, which came out this month! (And if you’ve somehow missed that word-vomit, check out my review of the book.) I can sum it up for you though: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT. 🙂

I saw an interview that Jeff did recently where he said that Chvrches’ song “Tether” really represents the feelings of the book. I’d heard the song before but I listened to it again with TSK in mind, and oh man, it’s perfect. So I asked Jeff if he’d put together a playlist of the book and if I could share it on my blog. He had, so of course, I’m sharing it here! I’ve listened to it and I’m pretty obsessed. I think I might have to listen to it when I reread TSK in the future because it really does represent the book well. Which isn’t really a surprise since Jeff is also a musician (one of his songs is even on the playlist).

But first: I asked Jeff to describe himself in 6 words and THE SERPENT KING in 6 words, and they are so good.

JEFF: Generally good dude who makes stuff.

THE SERPENT KING: Throwing off chains; paving new roads. 

Enjoy the playlist!

Have you read THE SERPENT KING (if not, what are you doing?)? What do you think of the playlist? 

Add THE SERPENT KING on Goodreads!

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Author-photo-jacketJeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

ARC Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerAuthor:  Jeff Zentner

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an ARC of this book from the author because he’s a wonderful human being.

Do you ever read a book so good that when you turn the last page, you just clutch it to your chest and hold it for a bit? And how often do you realize, as you hold the book, that you’ve just read something that has now firmly positioned itself on your favorites shelf? That’s The Serpent King for me.

I haven’t had this much of an emotional reaction to a book in a long time. I mean, I full-on sobbed at one point. I literally had to get up from the table (I was on my lunch break at work) and LEAVE the building to get some fresh air. The Serpent King is one that will stick with you for a long time, and it’s been months since I read it and I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, real (SO real), and absolutely lovely.

I don’t want to go into the specifics of the plot because I think you should just read it, but I do want to mention the characters. I think it’s the mark of a great author when the characters they create feel like they could walk out of the book and shake your hand. I could relate to all three of the main characters – Lydia, Dill, and Travis – in different ways. Jeff has perfectly captured Lydia’s desire to move, to get out into the world, and leave everything she’s ever known. Travis’ passion and love of his favorite book series will resonate with all of us. And with Dill? What it means to be human.

The bottom line: Read this book to meet characters that feel like real people. Read this book because we’ve all fought for the hope of a better life. Read this book to feel – alive, human, hopeful, heartbroken. Read this book because you’re human.

Waiting on Wednesday: The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterPublisher: Philomel Books

Author: Kerry Kletter

Release date: March 15, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will for something Cassie claims she didn’t do. Now, at eighteen, Cassie enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Why I’m excited: I’ll tell you why I’m excited. I’m excited because of Jeff Zentner’s (author of The Serpent King) review of The First Time She Drowned. You can read the whole review on Goodreads, but let me give you a snippet: “This is a gorgeous, sumptuously lyrical, luminous book. I read it like it was a fire and I’d just been pulled from a frozen lake. It’s a feast for lovers of language. The descriptions in it made me feel like I was experiencing the world for the first time.” He also says you have never read a YA book like this one. I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. NEEEEEED. Plus, look at that cover!!