Friday, 1 May 2015

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Review: Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance RubinNetGalleyDenton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin (eProof) - 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.
From Goodreads.

I thought Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin sounded pretty good when I first heard of it, but it exceeded my expectations! This is a fantastic book; a dystopian novel with a difference!

In a world a few generations in the future, everyone knows their deathdate - the date they will die. Due to some scientific discoveries, doctors can now determine the date of your death using blood and hair from when you are born. For Denton, his deathdate is tomorrow. It hasn't really bothered him too much that he will die early, but once his deathdate is imminent, his life is turned on it's head. Experiencing a lot of firsts, a lot of confusion, and a fair dose of teenage angst, Denton is now wishing he had more time. But when a strange purple splotch appears of his thigh and starts to spread, he knows his time is coming. If he hadn't enough to worry about, a strange man appears at his funeral, telling him he knew his dead mother, and he should trust no-one. With Denton's death just around the corner, what could he possibly have to be wary about?

This book! Oh my god, this book is brilliant! As I said above, this is a dystopia with a difference - for the most part, it doesn't feel like a dystopian novel at all, but rather a contemporary fantasy/comedy (comic fantasy isn't quite right). It's literally set just a few generations into the future, as Denton's grandfather remembers a time when no-one knew their deathdate, so it's a fairly recent thing, but to Denton the whole idea of people not knowing when they could die is completely bizarre to him. How could you live when every day could be the day you died? For the most part, he's quite calm about him impending death, accepting of it; he's known it was coming, and it's ok. At least it is at first.

But he has other things to worry about, like the possibility that he might have maybe cheated on his girlfriend with his best friend's sister, who has maybe always hated him. And he can't quite remember if he did and/or why, due to getting completely off his head on alcohol - an experience he can't say he enjoyed as he can't remember most of it. As you can tell, for the most part, Denton Little's Deathdate is a pretty normal YA contemporary novel, one that's pretty funny too. Denton's best mate, Poalo is awesome! He is one of the major highlights of the book for me, because he's always coming out with something hilarious! He literally had me laughing out loud, and I love him! I kind of wish he also had his own book.

But then the book takes a turn. It starts off gradually. Questions are raised in his mind about his mum, after the appearance of Brian Blum, who also warned him about being followed and to stay away from government officials. There's a cop who keeps appearing and acting strangely. And suddenly the book has a thriller feel to it, and you're sitting on the edge of your seat, not quite sure how it's going to go! Will Denton die with all these questions? Is dying maybe the best thing that can happen right now? What is going on, and what are people not telling him? It's so exciting and awesome! Who has ever heard of a teen-angsty, hilariously funny, fast-paced, exciting dystopian? I love it!

But there's even more to this book; amidst the comedy and thriller side of things, it's also really thought-provoking about life. How you live it, what really counts. How would you live your life if you knew when, in the future, you were going to die? How would you live if you didn't know if you'd die today, or tomorrow, or a week or a month from now? What would you do with your last few hours? Why aren't you doing those things all the time? Not all these questions are covered or asked in this book, but they're what it made me think as I was reading. Our lives matter, no matter how short or long - shouldn't we make it count? (This might also be due to the fact that my Nan's funeral was four days ago, so I've been thinking about how best to live, anyway. Yes, I chose to read this book at a really awkward time - I wanted a comedy - but it worked out for me.)

This really is an amazing and wonderfully surprising book! There are certain aspects of the book I worked out early on, but this didn't diminish my enjoyment of the work, nor did I have any clue where exactly this story was going to go! It ends on such a fantastic cliffhanger, and with the teaser from the sequel included at the end, oh my god, I cannot wait for the next book! It's going to be brilliant! This is one hell of a debut, and deserves to be a hit! Beyond the sequel, I will definitely read whatever else Rubin writes!

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's Books via NetGalley for the eProof.

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Published: 26th March 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Lance Rubin's Website

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