On the morning of his funeral, Denton Little wakes up in the bed of his best friend’s older (by a year) sister with little or no memory of what happened the night before. Now as he prepares for his funeral and his final day on Earth, Denton must piece together what happened the night before as well as clues about his own identity and some of the mysteries surrounding it.
It’s going to be a busy final couple of days for Denton, who has always known the day he’s going to die. In Denton Little’s Deathdate everyone knows the day of his or her death thanks to advances in technology. So instead of waiting until after the person has passed on, funerals are now a celebration of that person’s life with the soon-to-be-deceased in attendance and possibly saying a few final words.
Lance Rubin’s Denton Little’s Deathdate is a delight from start to finish. Mixing in teenage angst with a dollop of science-fiction and more than a few mysteries, this one is a winner on just about every front. A lot of that rests squarely at the feet of Denton, who relates the story of his final days on Earth and his confusion at various aspects of his life. For example, did he really break up with his girlfriend the night before, thus leading this his waking up with no clothes in the bed of his best friend’s sister (who he’s always kind of harbored a crush on, anyway)? And now that he’s finally ready to leave this mortal coil, will he find out answers to questions about his biological mother, who died giving birth to him? And what is the nature of this purple splotch on his skin that keeps growing all during his final few hours on Earth? And maybe most importantly, will Denton give in and spend his last few hours on Earth at the prom?
Denton’s witty, sarcastic narration is just one of the highlights of this novel. Rubin wisely parcels out details on Denton’s life at a regular rate and kept me guessing about where the novel might go in its final chapters. I’m not necessarily sure if this is intended as a start to a series or not, but I can say that I’ll be intrigued to read more stories set in this world if Rubin wants to tell them.
All in all, this is a satisfying novel with just the right blend of humor and drama to make the pages quickly and easily turn. Highly recommended.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.