Hey y’all! First off, just a little bit of something about my “reader life”. I’ve experienced quite a slump that lasted for months. I’ve been so busy doing other stuff that I actually left reading behind, and no, I am not proud of it.
So what I am actually telling here is that, this book is so good that it revived me. So if you’re curious about this book then keep on reading!
“If you’re going to live, you might as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.”
(NOTICE! Read the synopsis to know more about the book!)
Synopsis: 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.
The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending—one that will rock his life to the core.
When I picked this book, I have totally no idea what this book is all about. My only concern at that time is that if this book is a stand alone and it is. That’s it.
There’s something about reading a book without any biases or expectations about it, it makes it even more interesting when the conflict arises. That’s the case for this book. I’ve picked it up, started reading it, put it down, picked it up again and never putting it down. This book is totally brilliant and I love it.
This book talks about sensitive issues like friendship, family, religion, and mostly self-worth. Although most of the religion part doesn’t really align in my belief, I can totally relate to each of the characters in some way.
This is about Dillard Early who shares names with his father and his grandfather who also has a fair share of darkness inside them and Dill believes that he has it too. As the story progresses, Dill needs to make choices for himself and save him in his self-despair. He has two friends named Lydia and Travis which I think played a huge role in his life.
I have three points that I want to address, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, RELIGION.
I grew up in a loving family like Lydia’s so reading Dill’s story breaks my heart. It made me question the love of his parents for him. Maybe his family is eaten by the struggles and pain but is that really enough to drive your son into darkness? I think I will never understand his parents decisions are. I get it that his dad has issues rooted back with his father’s death but his mom, how can she be like that? Totally forgot his son’s welfare. Or maybe she just lost it and accepted defeat. I wish there’ll be more resolution for that than having that kinda open ending with Dill’s mom. I also wish that author explained more about Dill’s dad’s condition so that we can empathize with him just a bit.
I am very much pleased with the friendship they’ve got and I also believe that you need someone who accepts you for who you are like what Lydia and Travis did for Dill. Sometimes, there will come a time that even your family can’t help you so you definitely need a push from your trusted besties. My only rant for this is Travis. Oh my poor Travis. Man, you made me cry.
I am a Christian and there are a lot of things that I disagree regarding faith throughout the book. One thing that bothered me the most is that in the story, Dill is like forced into the “faith practices” that he clearly do not understand much. At some point in the book, he is just doing it so he can appease his dad. Faith is more of a personal relationship with God that’s why no one can dictate you for that.
To Lydia, I know you want the best for everyone but I hope you understand that we have different circumstances. You need to give them time to breathe and just think through things. But nevertheless, that doesn’t take away the fact that you are fantastic, you are talented.
To Travis, oh my poor travis, I wish you have realized your dreams sooner and that you stood up for yourself sooner. You are more than what you imagined.
To Dill, you are more than what your name says you should be. You choose your own path. You are different. Different is good.
Overall, this book is absolutely amazing and I am having trouble putting everything into words because this is too great for me to handle. There are a lot of things to say but I just can’t grasp everything and put it into a more precise description. This is exactly how this book got my mind messed up.
Rating 4/5 stars