Series: Denton Little #1
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Date Published: April 14th 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Humorous, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
Audiobook Length: 8 hours 36 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Lance Rubin
Description: **WINNER of the ILA Young Adult Book Award!** Get ready to die laughing: this is an 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. 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 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. Fall in love with Denton Little!
I’ve been in a serious reading slump recently. Nothing I’ve read has been particularly exciting, let alone stellar. Denton and his adventures were exactly what I needed, a complete flip from everything I’ve been reading.
We meet Denton two days before his deathdate. He’s hungover, doesn’t remember what happened, and is in the bed of his best friend’s sister. And the next two days don’t really improve from there. Denton has known of his early deathdate since he was 5. His best friend Paolo’s deathdate is just a month after Denton’s. Nothing like early deathdates to bond two kids together. Along with Denton and Paolo, we meet Veronica (Paolo’s sister), Taryn (Denton’s girlfriend), Millie (the one character who doesn’t know her deathdate), over-protective parents, teachers, pot-heads, and more. Paolo teaches Denton to “own that shit”, a very apt life philosophy. Millie is my teenage spirit animal, teaching Denton that it’s ok to not know your deathdate. Veronica and Taryn form the unintended sides of a love triangle. I loved every one of them.
I really enjoyed the premise of this book. In Denton’s world, scientists can determine most everyone’s deathdate with a simple genetic test. You don’t learn how you’ll die, nor the specific time, just the date. Like Millie, I don’t think I’d care to know my deathdate. Though, the planner in me can see the appeal. Mr. Ruben even goes so far in the world building to explain why airlines ban flying on your deathdate. This policy significantly reduced the number of airline crashes! As the entirety of the book takes place over two days, the plot is fast passed and held my interest throughout. One of my favorite scenes is the whole group attending Denton’s prom. Imagine going to your prom, but with your parents, brother, and friends, all on your deathdate. I laughed throughout the scene, from Denton deciding to attend prom, to the dramatic car chase at the end.
As for the narration, I really appreciated the author’s narration. It felt like Mr. Rubin was telling the story directly to me. The characters and story felt genuinely alive with the narration. On a side note, I’m really regretting that I didn’t stand in line at Teen Book Con to have my copy signed. Big fail on my part.
Stop what you are reading and pick up this book. Right now. It’s hilarious, witty, and original.