In a story that exemplifies gallows humor, Lance Rubin takes readers on the uproariously awkward adventure of a teenage boy during the last day of his life, during which he must “embrace the inevitability of his imminent death,” attend his own funeral, deal with the fallout of his many romantic faux pas, and crash his own prom. This is not only THE funniest book I have ever read, it was one of our YA and Wine book club’s top reads for 2016. We can’t wait for the sequel to come out in February!
I would recommend a Bone Shaker Zinfandel to go with this one. Not only, because it matches the noir themes in the book, but because the label just looks AWESOME with this book cover!
Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—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 thiswhat 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.
This book will have you LOLing from start to finish. I have never before read a passage from a book aloud during a book club meeting, but I HAD to read Denton’s eulogy, because it is just so FREAKING FUNNY. We were all in tears by the end of the scene. This book is fuel for book club discussions. It will provide you with plenty of hilarious quotes while also giving you some deeper themes that will make for a fascinating conversation.
I did like the cover for Denton Little’s Deathdate. I feel like the hearse definitely hints at the darker subject matter in this book. However, I do think the cover for the sequel, pictured on the right, captures the tone of the books much better.
While there is some romance involved in this story, I definitely wouldn’t consider this a swoon worthy read. BUT that’s not what this book is even KIND OF trying to be. This book does not try to romanticize the awkwardness that of teenage love, it embraces and amplifies it in the most hilarious ways possible.
Though this book is undoubtedly a comedy, it has some serious adventure elements going on. Denton has to try to evade multiple close calls throughout his deathdate. But the circumstances surrounding the predetermined deathdate that Denton has grown up believing in, suddenly don’t appear quite as straightforward as they once did. Denton has 24 hours to try to figure out exactly what’s going on while trying to allude mysterious government officials and his own demise. Talk about high stakes!
Why You Should Read This Book:
This book is a refreshingly funny look at death and society. The characters are incredibly flawed but in the most entertaining ways possible. The plot twists, and turns, and keeps you guessing until the very end. This is a perfect read for those who love contemporary YA and those that love comedy. It’s also a great pick for any genre of book club. It was also the winner of the ILA Young Adult Book Award!
The Nitty Gritty:
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: April 14,2015
What’s Next? *SPOILERS AHEAD*
Denton Little’s Still Not Dead, coming out on February 7, 2017
Denton Little lives in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. The good news: Denton has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die anytime. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought. . . .
Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?
*Wine Recommendations are, of course, for those of legal drinking age only.*