What worked: All of it! This novel is so much more than a coming of age tale. There's questions on regards to a faith that has been shaken by the choices of a Pastor father. Mostly though it's the courage to face up to what you want even if that goes against what others think.
Dill's plight really resonated with me. The whole, 'you are supposed to be there for your family' rang true. I know how hard it is to ignore what others expect of you and have the courage to say 'no'. This is especially hard in religious families especially those that expect you not to question a path that might not be right for you. Kuddos to Zentner for showing Dill's struggles, conflicts, and courage to face those who wanted to hold him back.
Travis's escaping into a fantasy book series is his way to have some kind of kindness in an abusive home. He's like a teddy bear--sweet and gentle. What he has to go through not only in his home but high school is heart breaking.
Lydia is the so-called 'rich' girl in town who doesn't care what the others think as she knows she'll leave it behind when she goes to college. But deep down she has her own yearnings and doubts. Her spunky, 'I don't care' attitude is peeled back to reveal what really hides behind her sarcastic persona.
Southern Freaks and Geeks meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This bittersweet coming of age tale will keep you glued to the pages as you follow the trials, sorrows, and triumphs of three friends in a small southern town. Keep some tissues close at hand. This story will stay with you long after you finish that last page.
2. Bittersweet coming of age tale
3. Authentic voice especially with character dealing with the aftermath of his Pastor father's crime