Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Published: June 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The clock is ticking.
Ollie can't be bothered to care about anything but girls until he gets his Deathday Letter and learns he's going to die in twenty-four hours. Bummer.
Ollie does what he does best: nothing. Then his best friend convinces him to live a little, and go after Ronnie, the girl who recently trampled his about-to-expire heart. Ollie turns to carloads of pudding and over-the-top declarations, but even playing the death card doesn't work. All he wants is to set things right with the girl of his dreams. It's now or never?
When I first heard about this book I didn't pay much attention to it. Yeah, it sounded okay, but I didn't feel a pull to read it. Then I started seeing all of these five star reviews for it and I changed my mind, I HAD to have it. So I bought it. Well, then it sat on my shelf for a few months until I finally picked it up and wondered why I didn't read it sooner.
Ollie has got to be the most real teenage boy character that I've read. I mean, I've read plenty of books with real sounding guy characters. Or so I thought. How should I know, I'm a girl! I'm pretty sure that this one is the most realistic. I mean, I probably will never look at those other books and think, "Wow, that gave me so much insight into a guys mind." This one totally does.
This book is also hilarious. Laugh out loud, I really shouldn't be reading this in public funny. I love books that make me laugh, and boy did this make me laugh! It had some heart too, as is to be expected when dealing with a book where the main character dies at the end. Which is such a weird concept. This is the first book that I've read that outright tells you that the main character is going to die. I'm pretty grateful for that, or I probably would have spent the book wondering what happens so he doesn't die and then being crushed when he does.
The concept of the Deathday letter is really interesting, and also puzzling. The thing is that if Ollie hadn't gotten his Deathday letter, he probably wouldn't have been where he was when he died. Does that mean that the letter caused his death? Or was it inevitable that he would die at that time in some way no matter where he was? It made me think, and there's no way of really knowing the answer.
Basically I really loved this book. It's so original, funny, thought provoking, and sweet. Definitely read it if you have the chance!
Overall: 48/50 A
Cover comments: I love it! As Hutchinson recognizes in his acknowledgments, this is a cover that a fourteen year old boy would not be embarrassed to be seen reading. Which is good, because that's the audience that would probably get the most out of the book.