Review: Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Review: Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin Denton Little's Deathdate on April 14, 2015
Pages: 352

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.


There are some things you should know about this book before we begin:

  • It is freaking adorable. Sure, the humor is a bit dark, as you’d expect from a book about someone’s deathdate. But it is so fun, and so very human. (More on that in a bit.)
  • I read this book a long time ago. August, to be exact (thanks for keeping tabs, Goodreads!), and I loved it then. But something was missing. That something was a conclusion, a wrap up. Well, good thing I didn’t decide to review it then, because good news! There’s a sequel (this is what I gathered from some pretty intense Twitter stalking. Don’t judge.) This kind of changes everything, since the one thing I didn’t like isn’t a factor anymore!
  • This is hands down the coolest book I have ever owned. I have signed books, sure. Some of them are even personalized! But sorry everyone else, not only do I have one of the first ever copies, but it has a drawing and a nice message:10598362_1521425941406958_1199183501_n

So, this book has a whole host of things that made me really enjoy it. Let’s talk about them!

First, everyone in this world knows when they’ll die. It’s just science. Too bad if that isn’t a good day, or you aren’t ready. “Sorry, not sorry Denton, that you’re going to bite it on the day of your prom”, says science. Obviously, having a deathdate at a young age is a real downer, but Denton is just trying to live what’s left of his life. And he is a funny, witty, and all too real teenage guy. He thinks about all the stuff teenage guys do (well, not ever having been a teenage guy, it’s what I assume they think of, anyway), and he has the same worries and insecurities as everyone else. Only his kind of won’t matter the next day, since he will be dead and such.its-science-anchorman

All the characters are great in their own right, too. Denton’s friend Paolo and his family are fantastic, and Denton’s own family had me laughing too. They all just seemed so realistic, so much like someone I might know in my life, that it all worked so well. Denton’s relationships with these people are a huge focus,of course, because I think anyone who’s about to die is going to focus on that, no?

Amidst the humor though, it is thought provoking as well. What would you do if you knew when you were going to die? Would you want to know? Would it be awful? Of course, I asked myself those questions a lot throughout the book.

And just when I thought it was just going to be a clever book about Denton’s last day… there is a mystery! Which of course leads to some action, and a plot twist, and more ways for Denton and his friends to get themselves into a whole new set of ridiculous circumstances. That’s where I’d been concerned: How can the book end without me knowing all the things!? But alas, there is to be another, so I can just wait around impatiently to find out the answers to my questions.

Bottom Line: I liked this book a lot. It’s fun, it’s charming, it has a great cast of characters, and it’s one I definitely recommend.


Well, clearly, I need to ask: If science could tell you your date of death, would you want to know? (I unequivocally would not.)

Posted April 13, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 16 Comments


16 responses to “Review: Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

  1. I’d just assume mine was OBVIOUSLY tomorrow… so anything beyond that would be a bonus. :p I think I’d be less likely to want to know the death dates of other people I love.

  2. OMG I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD. XD I, um, probably would not want to know my deathdate. Actually, forget that, I hate suspense. I totally would. And then I’d freak out about it for the rest of my life. -_- AHEM. But yes, I want to read this because it sounds sooo quirky and awesome and I love dark gallows humour. I’M SOLD.

    • It’s a really, really fun book! I mean, as long as you don’t take it too seriously, you know? It’s just very witty, and adorable, and engaging. I liked. And that is my problem- I would freak out for every second of my life. No question.

  3. Added it to my TBR. Done. Period. It’s up there high in the list and will be bought and consumed soon, because for the love of all things holy, what kind of person wouldn’t be excited about that kind of premise?! If I knew when I was going to die and if it was coming soon, I sure as hell would be freaking out and not have the energy to be as witty as Denton. I’m so excited to see how he handles everything already and to experience the thought-provoking aspect. I need more philosophical drama in my life.

    • Oh yay!! It is really a fun book. It was a nice change of pace too, because it is so unique! Denton was so funny- half freaking out, half not giving a crap hahha. I really hope you love it!!

  4. The humour though, haha. Best thing about it (and the relationships) buuuuuut, that funeral scene, just, they went there. I loved the what-the-hell attitude, telling everyone what he really thought of them (honestly, that’s probably what I would do, ha) AND YES, that was my worry once I finished it, especially because of the questions not answered, but then got to the end in my kindle and saw there was a sequel (I gather that wasn’t in your ARC?)

    Despite my little issues, I can’t wait to read the next one. BECAUSE THE FUNNY.

    • Nope, I had no idea! Of course, my ARC was literally the first printing (and Lance said on Twitter the first one he ever signed, which makes it even MORE fantastic), so I guess they weren’t sure of the sequel then maybe? But I really did love it. It was just so refreshingly different and honest than anything I had read. I am glad you will be reading the sequel too 😀

  5. First: I read a book that was pretty similar to this – it was an anthology called Machines of Death. The only difference is that book told you how you were going to die, but not when.

    I am definitely going to have to pick up a copy of this one though. Despite the thought-provoking and grim topics it covers, I love the sound of how there’s humor beneath it all. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Shannon and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    • A friend keeps recommending the Machines of Death book, and I really need to read it, it sounds really interesting too! It really is first and foremost humorous, and then all the other stuff comes into play. It’s a book I am likely to reread, which is rare 🙂

  6. Your review….just made me want this book immediately!! It looks fun! I mean not the desth part but you know what I mean. I don’t think I would NOT want to know. I would spend my time obsessing over it. You should try to love life to the fullest anyway and it’s sad that sometimes it takes a death date or a severe diagnosis to make people realize it. I also know living life to the fullest cost a hell of a lot of money at time so it’s maybe it’s better to just appreciate the little things. Well that enough life lessons from me for the day. Ta-ta!
    ❤️Britt @ please feed the bookworm

    • Aw thanks! It IS really fun, and even the way death as a subject is handled isn’t completely morbid. I mean, sure, at times it is because it has to be, but as a whole, it was just so matter-of-fact. And thanks for the life lessons 😉 For real though, I should listen to your advice! I am bad at that. So bad.

  7. So I wasn’t really interested in this book…but then I read your review and now I must have it! I mean a book that’s thought provoking and adorably funny? I needs.

    And, no. I definitely would not want to know my death date, it would terrify me and then I would live a terrified life and never ever ever leave the house and just panic constantly(which I already do enough of). =)

    • Aww yay! I really did like this one, so I hope you do too 🙂

      I agree, I would be SO SCARED. I would count down every minute, every second and just be like “Welp, there’s one more second closer to death. BOOM, there’s another one” and it would be awful and I would probably throw up on the regular. No thanks!

  8. Wow, you must have really liked this book <3 I've seen this around, but I haven't given much thought to it because of that cover.. I judge books by covers these days which I really shouldn't but I don't have that much time you know? It's just easier. I loved reading your review though, I've added this to my TBR just now.

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