Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or starred review) 5
Genre: Realistic Fiction
What did you like about the book? I loved the characters in this book, both dead and alive. Through Carver (our narrator) I could really picture them clearly. I also love the way Zentner writes. Not only can he paint a scene (which in this case is set in Tennessee), but he can also elicit many different emotions from you over the course of his novels. It was also very seamlessly inclusive, so if you are looking for books with diversity, LGBTQ+, or southern teenagers this book has it.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Even though it made me cry, I can’t say that there is anything to dislike. Even things we think will be predictable for Carver never turn out that easily.
To whom would you recommend this book? Any fans of The Serpent King, Zentner’s first book, will find this an awesome follow-up. Teens who are going through the stages of grief & loss can definitely find something in this book. Teens having to deal with school/senior year and the college process might gleam something from this too. And anyone looking for a little humor will appreciate the Sauce Crew & the Sweat Crew.
Who should buy this book? Librarians and booksellers will definitely want to have a copy of this on their shelf. (I’m excited to own the ARC and the finished product).
Where would you shelve it? Realistic Fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I think that you definitely need this at the top of your TBR pile. I think this book is likely to be buzzed about, since his first book won the Morris Award, but it’s his writing (and so many parts of it) that make you want to race through the pages and simultaneously savor the story.
Reviewer: Christina, Thayer Public Library, Braintree MA
Date of review: 3/27/2017