Originally, I read the book because it was on the Battle of the Books list for the State of North Carolina. I chose this particular book because the protagonist was raised in and emotionally scarred by a “snake-handling” Pentecostal Holiness church, and since I was raised in a Holiness church as well and am a little offended by the frequent portrayal of my people as religious zealots, I wanted to see how the author handled the delicate balance between Christianity and religious fanaticism. The book was tastefully done and highlights the ordinary lives of three societal outsiders, a girl and two boys, as they battle bullies in high school and try to chase after their dreams and construct their own personal meaning for their lives while battling the reputations of and strained relationships with their parents.
I’m a rapidly aging individual, but I’m still drawn to coming of age stories. My favorite Netflix television series being the high school football drama, All American. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had familial tension between themselves and their parents or who understands what it means to be an outsider, trying to climb the mountain of your dreams while being flailed on every side by naysayers.