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:
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.
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.