Review of Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

DentonLittleDenton Little’s Deathdate
By: Lance Rubin
Release Date: April 14th 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher Giveaway

I won a copy of this book from the publisher and chose to read and review it.

My Rating:

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.

My Thoughts:
At a friend’s recommendation I decided to enter a giveaway for this book and I won a copy! I was pretty excited to receive it and wasted no time in picking it up to read. I really like that cover and the promise of humor and a different type of book than what I normally read.

Overall I found this book to be highly entertaining and readable. It did veer on silly and felt a bit young at times (but it is YA so that makes sense). I thought it was a fun read that had a likeable main character. Some of the humor felt a tiny bit forced but most of it worked for me. Denton was a likeable character and his internal monologue could likely be from a real person.

The romance didn’t do anything for me but I wasn’t going into this one expecting swoons. There was a triangle as the summary states but it didn’t bother me. I found Denton’s girlfriend to be highly unlikeable. I might have cared more if I could see redeemable qualities in her character. I did however like his best friend’s hostile sister. She felt more well rounded and real to me.

There wasn’t a whole lot of explanation about how deathdates were first introduced into society though it is briefly explained. You pretty much need to just go with it and accept it as part of Denton’s world. I didn’t have trouble doing that myself though I was curious about some things that I do feel will be addressed later on. You might be thinking…later on? This seems like it should be a standalone right? I don’t get the impression that it will be. The ending left everything open for the story to go much further. I think I’d have preferred it to be completed in this one novel though.

The place where this went a tad silly was with Denton’s purple rash that eventually consumes him completely. I had trouble picturing this guy running around town purple. I do believe it was supposed to be a funny visual and it did provide some humorous moments but it was very hard to take seriously if you are expecting that type of thing from this book.

But, even with the silly stuff, this book did pose some deep questions and some touching moments. I couldn’t help but contemplate if I would in fact ever want to know the date I died (NO). What would it be like to know? To attend your funeral? Really, that all sounds like torture to me and experiencing these things with Denton did prove to feel very real and at times pretty heartbreaking. These moments were my favorites of the book and felt that the author approached the subject of death in a different and unique way.

Final Thoughts:
What an odd book Denton Little’s Deathdate was. I really enjoyed the unique voice, main character and different take on death. The book went off a bit for me with some plot holes, the introduction of a sequel (some won’t see that as a negative at all) and some instances of things going a bit too young for my tastes. Overall though I thought this book was a fun read.


    • says

      Yep it does make sense. It was a really odd book and I’m still not 100% sure if I liked it. But it was readable and entertaining in some ways.

    • says

      Yeah, he was the type of characters that you either liked or didn’t. Some of his dialog really did seem a tad forced but I enjoyed some of his humor. I’ll have to check out your review!

  1. says

    Great review Kristen. <3 I'm glad you mostly liked this book 🙂 I just saw another 3 star review for it a few days ago. Ack. But yeah. I do not think this book would be for me at all o.O It seems too annoying for me, lol 🙂 Though I am curious about the plot, and curious since you did mostly like it. But yeah. Not these days 😀 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

    • says

      I’m not sure it would be for you…some aspects I know would bother you. It was highly readable and had some fun aspects and got me thinking about what it would be like to know your date of death.

  2. says

    I have seen this book around but never bothered to click and read anyone’s review. But I was curious because of the sideways cover and now I wanted to see what it was about. This one sounds a bit weird, maybe a bit too weird for my liking. I’m not sure, I think I would have to try it myself 🙂

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