Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

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Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Fabulous and original mystery story set in a world where everybody knows the day on which they die. Very funny, very sad, very moreish. There's a second story to follow and we hope it hurries up!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1471124231

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Tomorrow is the day I'm going to die. I don't mean to get all dramatic about it. I've known that tomorrow is the day I will die since I was born.. Just like almost everyone else in the world knows their deathdate. But do I need to get movie-preview-voice-over-guy intense about it? Probably not.

Oh! I think I would want to get intense about impending death. Don't you think you would, too? But imagine what it's like to live in a world where everyone knows the day they will die. Rituals and conventions spring up. You get to go to your own funeral. You could even get to make the most of your life if you know when it ends. You won't pass up so many opportunities, perhaps?

Denton Little has an early deathdate. He won't even get to make it out of his teens. He's actually going to die on the very same day as his senior prom. We meet Denton just two days before his deathdate. And his rattling though some firsts - and lasts?! - his first sex, his first love triangle, his first hangover. At least, he thinks it's his first sex - he just can't remember it, thanks to his first hangover. But he does know that if it happened at all, it wasn't with his girlfriend - it was with his best friend's sister. Even with death rapidly approaching, this doesn't seem to be the wisest thing to have done.

And then a strange man shows up at Denton's funeral, claiming he has information about his long-dead mother. And a strange purple rash appears on his body. Denton has questions and not much time in which to get them answered...

Oh, awww. I loved this story. It's hectic and it's funny and it's touching. I read it the same week in which the redoubtable Terry Pratchett died and with him his fabulous CAPITALISED characterisation of Death. We don't have enough funny books about death and Denton Little's Deathdate proved the perfect antidote to the tears I was shedding for Sir Terry. Denton's classmates are regularly and hilariously tactless about his upcoming shedding of his mortal coils. His stepmother's loving but overprotective efforts to keep him out of trouble until the very last moment are lovely and sad but also very, very funny. His giving of his own eulogy had me rolling in the aisles. Denton Little's Deathdate is genuinely surreal and weird and very funny.

But it's also serious. Understandably, Denton is struggling with the idea of dying. And he's doing his absolute best to cope well. He does some silly things but he's been forced into an emotional maturity most adults would struggle with. It's impossible not to like him. And impossible not to compare yourself to him. Would you cope as well as Denton?

So we've gone from comedy to existential musing. But there's also a sci-fi/conspiracy thriller going on. I don't want to say too much about it for fear of spoiling. But beware the purple rash!

I thought it was gorgeous. Fresh, original and an absolute joy to read. There's a follow-up coming soon and I can't wait.

If Denton Little's Deathdate appeals, you might also enjoy Noggin by John Corey Whaley. Travis comes back after being cryogenically frozen as a terminal cancer patient. Same head. New body. If that weren't enough to get used to, it's been five minutes for Travis but five years for everyone else. Both heartwrenching and heartwarming, it's a fabulous book with a huge heart.

Buy Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin at Amazon.com.


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