Book Review: The Serpent King

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zetner (5 out of 5 Stars)

People live quiet lives and that’s okay. There’s dignity in that, no matter what you may think.

This book is both beautiful and haunting. It was part of the March Writer’s Block Box from OwlCrate. I honestly cannot believe it took me so long to read it. I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish this since I simply could not stop reading.

It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. The writing is powerful and the characters are so real it hurts. This coming of age story is set in small town Forrestville, Tennessee, population 4,237. It alternates views among three main characters. We have sassmaster Lydia, a blogger and “internet-famous” girl who is set on leaving behind Forrestville after graduation. Travis, the gentle giant with a love of Bloodfall (a high fantasy book series) who wears black and his dragon pendant all day, everyday. Then there is Dill, Dillard Early Jr., the son of a signs preacher who has been in jail for the past 3 years after getting caught with child pornography. An unlikely group of friends bonded in their outcast status.

I, personally have been through a lot this year (I live in Orlando, FL and we have seen some horrendous things this summer), and the timing of this book is perfection. It deals with so many issues, and handles them well. Dill’s struggle with faith and his family’s expectations for him resonate with me so much. I choose to walk a different path than what my parents set for me and the fall out was hard to come to terms with for awhile. I simply adore Travis’s fierce loyalty to his friends and his completely amazing sense of self. He finally learns to not be afraid of who he is and embraces that fully. Lydia’s drive and ambition is beautiful, her love and desire to see her friends happy and have only the best is what I wish for my daughter.

I fell in love with these kids. Their personal struggles with depression, school, family and faith made them all the more tangible. I couldn’t help but hope they escaped Forrestville and the small town oppression. It was amazing to see them learn from each other and celebrate each other’s strengths in a place that offered nothing but people who are there to tear you down. It was a nice change to read about friends who believe in you even when you do not believe in yourself.

This book also broke my heart. I was moved to tears. I never expected to love these characters as I do. It reminds me to be brave in the face of adversity, to have hope and believe in the strength of my friendships, as Lydia would quote “If you do not like the road you’re walking, pave another one.” 

Overall a beautiful debut book. This is one of my favourite reads for 2016 and I highly recommend it! I cannot wait to dig into his next novel Goodbye Days, set for release in Spring 2017.

Add to Goodreads / Buy The Serpent King by Jeff Zetner / Jeff Zetner WebsiteInstagram / Twitter

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The First Hints of Fall: The Back to School Edit

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I have always associated the season of Autumn as a time of new beginnings. The start of the new academic year definitely influences this nostalgia. It’s also my favourite time of year for many reasons; Halloween, book releases a plenty and Potter movie releases just to name a few (Fanstastic Beasts here we come!) It’s also that time of year I reevaluate everything in my closet and replenish the basics! It’s a great time to shop and try something new. Here are some of my favourite Autumn basics, great for school or work.

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August Book Wrap Up

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After wallowing through The Raven Cycle (4 Book Series) through most of the summer, I fell into a reading slump. I wasn’t ready to leave the magical residence of Cabeswater and Henrietta, VA. With a growing to be read pile and summer activities a-plenty scheduled, I knew I had to get out of this book hangover and fast.

The cure for any book hangover is absolutely an R.S. Grey novel. If you read my April Wrap up , you already know how much I love R.S. GREY! Her books are the right amount of spicy, hilarious and heart warming. Along with the latest R.S. Grey novel, I dove straight into the fantasy genre tackling the very wonderful Sarah J Maas books A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses). Along with an amazing author and bookstagrammer, James Fahy and his glorious read
Isle of Winds (The Changeling Series) (Volume 1). I also finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script. 5 books in one month is some kind of record considering my slow pace this summer. Keeping reading for my overview on all these great books!

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Owl Crate: August Fasts Times at YA High Box

The August YA themed box has such a nostalgic feel for me. If you have not received your box, STOP READING SPOILERS AHEAD. There are still a few available to order so if you are interested in receiving one of your own, do not hesitate to click the OwlCrate links throughout my review and sign up for your very own YA August box.

For those who have not heard about OwlCrate, it is a monthly book subscription box that sends newly published Young Adult novels and assorted bookish goodies to your door. Each month’s OwlCrate is tailored to a fun theme (past themes include MAGIC, MYTHS & LEGENDS, and DIVERSITY) and will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on.

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OwlCrate was created to share the joy of reading with the world. We believe in the importance of literature, and the magic of the written word. Stories help to expand our minds, expose us to new experiences, and show us that we’re not alone. But we also know that reading can often feel like a solitary activity, and we wanted a way to bring book nerds together. By sharing the fun of unboxing your OwlCrates, as well as reading each month’s chosen novel along with other members, we hope you find a safe and happy place among our community.

Our manifesto:
1) No one is too old to read YA.

2) We will not be ashamed of our TBR piles.

3) It’s okay to fall in love with fictional characters.

4) The book is always better than the movie (but the movies are fun too!).

5) Books have the ability to change our world.

If this sounds like something you can relate to, join us today! We promise to only send you the best of the best of Young Adult fiction, and to pleasantly surprise you with bookish goodies every single month.

We can’t wait to get nerdy with you!

Korrina and Robert (creators of OwlCrate, and massive book geeks).

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

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Lamppost Luminary: buttermybooks

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Hey there Narnians! If you follow ntptn on Twitter or Instagram you know my love for Summer and her amazing book recs, subscription box reviews (music + books = dance party!) and all around great time to be had on her social media platforms. I had the lovely opportunity to chat with one of the kindest book bloggers about our mutual love of fashion, reading and music and here is what ensued…

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#bibliostyle : New Bookish Merch

If you are a resident #bookstagrammer, you understand the lure of new bookish merch. There are so many great artists and shops, a wide variety of styles, price ranges and fandoms available! The best thing about this community is the support and love for all of these things and the creators. I’ve recently been encouraged and inspired to design and share my own work. So here it is, currently available on Society6. International shipping is available. Sign up here for $10 off your first order of $20 or more.

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Pin Envy: The Enamel Pin Edit

The enamel pin culture has really taken over my IG feed lately. I’ve always been a collector since my preteen days and it is so very cool to see this Instagram-driven reemergence take on a whole new level in my adulthood. They date back to Civil War era. At that time they signified government merits. During the late 1960’s they were used by political and social groups. Pins started out at as symbols of achievement & membership in different organizations. These days, enamel pins are more of an every day accessory. They reflect your personality, favourite interests, or fandom. Their collectible nature is perfect for any lover of fashion.

 

Pins range in a wide variety of style, prices and sizes! Anyone is able to curate a collection. Read on to see some of my personal favorites.

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Lamppost Luminary: SophiewithaZ

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All photos in this post courtesy of SophiewithaZ

This month’s current Lamppost Luminary is one of my biggest supporters in, well, life is this amazing lady right here – Zophie. (That is pronounced Sophie, with a Z). We met one fandom-filled day on tumblr, searching for similar pieces as-seen on various T.V. shows. We bonded over Teen Wolf, Marvel, Potter and eveything else. She is an uber talented artist, a fledging fashionista and one of my biggest champions. This blog wouldn’t have come together without her. Her designs brought Not The Path To Narnia to life. She is my girl Friday and also the person behind the graphics of Not The Path To Narnia!

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The Book(ish) Box by Appraising Pages: Harry Potter

When Appraising Pages announced their Harry Potter box I SIMPLY COULD NOT RESIST. As an avid and dedicated fangirl of the series since Philopher’s Stone was first published, I knew I needed what would be in this box. Also having seen multiple rave reviews of The Book(ish) Box, this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out!

For those of you who haven’t heard of The Book(ish) Box by Appraising Pages, it is a monthly subscription box for stylish bookworms.

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We work with small shops to bring your quality, usable items inspired by your favorite novels. Each box includes a shirt designed by Appraising Pages and 3-5 home, beauty, and fashion items.

 

 

As this is a curated style box you must first, select the style and size preference of your tee. Second, Confirm billing and check out the shop for shirt upgrade options. Last, enjoy your wonderful box of nerdtastic goodies once they arrive! #bookishbox

 

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