Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.
Hardcover, 352 pagesPublished: April 14th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Three and a half stars: A quirky book that makes you reconsider death.
Denton Little wakes up with only two days to live. Even though he is only seventeen, Denton has known since he was five years old that he would die tomorrow. Most people know their death date thanks to new scientific breakthroughs. Denton knows the date he will die, but not how or exactly when. Today is his funeral, he gets to attend while he is still alive, and then he must prepare to die. Things go awry when Denton discovers a large, purple rash on his leg, and then he gets some mysterious emails and a visit from the doctor who delivered him. As time ticks away, Denton tries to cram as much living as he can in his few remaining hours. How will Denton die?
What I Liked:
- It isn't often you get a fun, unique book that features a hilarious main character while dealing with a serious topic. Denton Little's Death Date does just that. You get a seventeen year old trying to make the most of his remaining hours with lots to ponder upon. I enjoyed this one, and I especially appreciated that it was different.
- Denton Little is a terrific main character. He is funny and smart, and I love how he tries to bring a bit of happiness to everyone in his final hours. You don't often get great male characters in YA books, so if you love a good male lead, grab this one. Denton will make you laugh.
- Death tends to be a somewhat taboo topic. No one likes to think about dying, but this book really makes you think. Imagine knowing from the day you were born the day you would die? How would you live your life? I loved all the implications of knowing your impending death date, and I liked exploring how people handled it. Very cool!
- Even though this deals with the weighty topic of death and dying, this book isn't depressing. Sure, it is sad to think about Denton's death, but there is lots of humor and comedic moments that made me laugh. This was a funny book.
- I was surprised to find that there was a bit of mystery to this one. I liked the added suspense along with wondering how and when Denton was going to die.
- This appears to be the first in the series, and even though I wasn't thrilled with the cliffhanger ending, I am happy to know there will be another book in this series.
And The Not So Much:
- While I loved the concept of everyone knowing their death date, the author kind of fudges the scientific part on how they were able to determine when someone was going to die. He basically glosses over it by saying they take some DNA samples and that determines the death date, but the actual science is never really explained. Not a big deal because it isn't all that important, but I am a detail reader and I wanted more on that aspect.
- The ending takes some surprising turns and I was left with a big fat cliffhanger that totally caught me off guard. I was expecting this to be a stand alone, but on the other hand, I am glad there will be another book.
- I wish a little more time had been devoted to the whole story line with Denton's mother, her doctor, the vaccine and all that. It is an important part of the story that felt thrown in rather hastily at the end.
Denton Little's Death Date was a fun, quirky read that had me laughing while pondering over death. This was a thinking book that was also entertaining. If you are looking for something unique and interesting with a great male lead, I would recommend picking this one up. Beware there is a cliffhanger, but it is still worth the read.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.