Genre: YA, contemporary
Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
Thoughts on the Overall Book: Dark humor, a hearse on the cover--had to check it out. I had a couple complaints about it, but overall, I will admit it was definitely a quirky, and funny read.
Cover--Yea or Nay: Totally yes. That plus the title is what made me pick this book up.
Characters: Denton Little is overall not a bad protagonist. For the most part, he's a pretty nice guy and kind of quirky. The problem I had with him was that he was a little wishy-washy. Maybe he was just a too accurately portrayed teenage boy, but I don't hold the belief that they're all like that either. I would have liked him better if he could have just stuck to liking one girl. Just because he was going to die, didn't give him the right to do that, especially since it was kind of a mistake the first time. But apart from that, I did like him, and his narration was quirky and sarcastic and darkly humorous which is exactly what I expected from this book. I really liked his best friend Paolo, he was funny, typical side-kick kind of guy. I did like Denton's girlfriend Taryn, but I had to feel sorry for her because Denton practically cheated on her. This book had a pretty good cast of supporting characters, I particularly liked Denton's brother Felix and then Phil was a character who was annoying and enjoyable to hate. So it had a fun variety of characters who usually ended up surprising you in some way.
The Romance: This was my main problem with the book. I hate love triangles. And the fact that this one happened more or less by accident, but then Denton didn't do anything about it irked me even more. I really saw no reason his sleeping with Veronica furthered the plot at all, it only caused trouble that didn't really have to do with the story line. And Taryn was trying to be supportive but Denton was making that hard. (view spoiler)
Writing Style: I did like the writing style. It was easy reading, fast-paced and funny. I always appreciate dark humor and making fun of death. Denton made a good narrator. The idea of knowing your death date was really interesting and kind of made a neat twist on normal every day life with the new customs of pre-mortem funerals and self written eulogies. I find this sort of thing hilarious anyway. There were times when the plot got a little on the ridiculous side, like the strange rash Denton develops. It was just a little far fetched, especially when he ended up being totally purple. But I guess this is the kind of book where you just have to go along for the ride. There was a bit more espionage sort of story like to this that I was not expecting. I won't say too much in fear of spoilers but it made for a more interesting story than I thought this would be at the beginning.
Accuracy/ Believability: Not really applicable.
Problems/What bothered me: There was a little too much dirty humor in this book. It's a guy book, and I expect guy humor, yeah, and I can deal with that, but this was a little more graphic than I like usually. Plus the all too casual way the characters slept together bothered me because it just seemed like a 'last night on earth' kind of thing and I get annoyed by that, especially in teen fiction. Particularly since no one seems to have a problem with it, even the parents.
Conclusion: 3 stars. A quick fun read with a surprising cliff-hanger. I'll probably read the next book out of curiosity, but this wasn't really a favorite either.
Recommended Audience: Guy read or girl read ages 18 and up due to content. If you like dark humor or quirky contemporary novels check this out.
(Read this review with spoilers on Goodreads)