Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 07, 2017
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** Denton Little's Deathdate review**
You only live once—unless you’re Denton Little!I remembered that Denton Little's Deathdate was funny but, apparently, had forgotten just how funny Lance Rubin's writing and the characters could be. Denton Little's Still Not Dead is a book that will make you laugh, yet can be serious, too. There are times when it feels like a character's (Denton or Paolo, especially) humor should be irreverent, but somehow it's not (even if, it sometimes kind of is).
The good news: Denton Little has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die any time. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought…
Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?
Their jokes and levity, the way they see things or what they think not only fits the characters - and what we saw of them in the first book - but makes even more sense given all that they're facing. Denton may have lived through his deathdate, but that doesn't mean he gets to just go on and live a happy, carefree, undated life now.
The author did a nice job reminding readers of some of what had happened in the first book, often giving us not only the 'what' that happened but some of the 'how,' too. Having that refresher of the events that caused X or Y to happen was especially nice when some of them became relevant in the current story.
I enjoyed how the sequel really gave us more of the bigger picture around deathdates but still stayed focused on Denton, his friendships, relationships, feelings, his life. I loved that we got to see some of the characters from the first book, but that it was done in a way that still fit with the current events and dangers. It was a great follow-up to the first book and I loved the ending!
Denton and Denton Little's Still Not Dead have some interesting thoughts on death, life and what each can and, maybe, should mean. It is how they're delivered: sometimes almost unbelievably, maybe a bit absurdly, and definitely with wit that really make them stick.
digital review copy received, thanks to publisher, from NetGalley