Denton Little’s Deathdate, by Lance Rubin


Rating: 3.25 Stars

Denton Little’s Deathdate is a book I’m feeling conflicted about. At times it was quirky, funny, and sweet, but other other times I was sitting there, wondering what was going on. Overall, it was an interesting read, and hopefully I’ll be able to explain the reason for my odd rating.

Denton Little’s Deathdate is about a world identical ours in almost every single way, except that every person knows the day they’ll die, thanks to science. Our story follows Denton, who’s deathdate is tomorrow, and today is the day of his funeral, because in this world, funerals are attended by the soon-to-be-deceased. However, Denton gets approached by a man who warns him to stay away from suspicious government figures, and now he has too little time to figure out the answers.

Overall, this was a quick and light read, which is astonishing, considering this book’s main concept is death. Denton is a quirky, funny, and likable main character, who definitely enhanced the story. The rest of the characters, especially Paolo, Denton’s best friend, were likable and nice as well.

The plot was slow, not action-filled, it reads like a realistic fiction novel. The majority of the book is on Denton’s deathdate, where he waits with his family for something to happen that causes his death. The blurb for this book says that this book is “hilarious,” but I did not think it so. Perhaps it was because I had too high expectations, but while I may have smiled once or twice, I didn’t really find it funny. In fact, I thought it was all a bit awkward and the book was very obviously trying to lighten the mood and distract us from the elephant in the room: that Denton’s going to die. However, I admire Rubin and his ability to pull this off and almost completely succeed in lightening the mood; not every author can do so with a concept this dark.

What I disliked in this book was the random plot elements that were thrown into the end. We don’t get a ton of buildup or suspense, as the mood was kept light, so plot twists and explanations thrown in the end seemed ridiculous and random. I liked the book quite a bit until the end, unfortunately, it changed a bit when the end wrapped things up abruptly and quickly; too quickly for the plot twists to have had time to make sense in my head. The emphasis on sex got a little annoying as well; I mean, I get that they’re teenagers, but isn’t it unrealistic that all Denton can think about on his last day alive is sex, for almost the entirety of the book?

Overall, Denton Little’s Deathdate is a quirky and great read, with likable characters and a very interesting concept. This book is worth reading for the concept alone, and I suggest you all give it a try when it hits shelves on April 14.

~Aliza London

An advance copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for this review.


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