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Denton Little's Deathdate
Cover of Denton Little's Deathdate
Denton Little's Deathdate
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**WINNER of the ILA Young Adult Book Award!**Get ready to die laughing: this is an outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and...
**WINNER of the ILA Young Adult Book Award!**Get ready to die laughing: this is an outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and...
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  • **WINNER of the ILA Young Adult Book Award!**
    Get ready to die laughing: this is an 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.

    Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days—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.

    Fall in love with Denton Little!
    "Rubin is really funny but like John Green, he manages to be poignant at the same time. You'll laugh out loud while you read this, but you're probably going to tear up a bit too." —Bustle
    "The dialogue is witty and raunchy, the plot is uniquely twisted, and the ending is to die for. This book will fly off the shelves."—VOYA

    "Lance Rubin creates a world in which (almost) everyone can answer the question, 'What would you do if you knew when you were going to die?' and holy s*#! the answers are hilarious. I don't think I've laughed at death so much in a long, long time. Read this book, it'll have you dying." —Isabel Quintero, Morris Award-winning author of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces
    "Hilarious, thought-provoking, irreverent, unforgettable. . . . Live your own death, Dent. We love you." —Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen

    "If Six Feet Under had been created by John Hughes: that's Denton Little's Deathdate." —Tim Federle, author of The Great American Whatever
    "Wildly funny, brilliantly weird, and achingly heartfelt." —Becky Albertalli, Morris Award–winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
    "Highly original, fantastically entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny, Denton Little's Deathdate is a wild romp through a night like no other." —Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Geography of You and Me
    "An utterly enjoyable, engrossing page-turner." — Bulletin
    "The tweaked contemporary setting, irreverent end-of-life humor, and big, existential questions make this a good pick for fans of John Corey Whaley's Noggin." — Publishers Weekly
    From the Hardcover edition.


  • From the cover 1

    I don't think this is my bed.

    It's hard to know for sure, as my head is in excruciating pain, but there's something about this bed that doesn't feel like me. It's got extra fluff.

    This is disappointing. I had a very clear vision for how the day of my funeral would start, and it involved waking up in my own bed. I would yawn and stretch like a well-rested comic strip character as the smell of bacon wafted up from downstairs. There's so much bacon down here! my stepmom would shout.

    But instead, I'm swiping at my skull to make sure there aren't any knives sticking out of it as I listen to the voice of some lady who's not my stepmom talking about something that is not bacon. "Nothing yet," she says, from out in the hallway. "Yes, trust me, I know this is important."

    Ow. Something's lumped up under my back. Possibly my old faithful companion, Blue Bronto. Maybe this is my bed after all!


    It's a pink koala.

    I have never owned a pink koala.

    "Well, I'm doing everything I can," the woman in the hallway says.

    Of course. It's Paolo's mom. I'm in Paolo's house.

    I make a halfhearted attempt at sitting up, and as the room slowly spins, I look around. My eye lands on a poster for the National Sarcasm Society. LIKE WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT, it reads under the logo.

    This is not Paolo's room.

    It's a room I've been in approximately three times before, the room of Paolo's older-but-not-by-much sister, Veronica. So: I just woke up on the day of my funeral in my best friend's sister's bed. This was never part of my plan.

    "Denton . . . Are you awake in there?" Paolo's mom says from just outside the door.

    I shoot back down and pull the blanket up over my head. She doesn't seem to care that I'm in her daughter's room, but I'd prefer to hide.

    "No, he's still out cold," she says as she walks away.

    I shrug the blanket off, noticing a Band-Aid on my right index finger. I have no idea why it's there. I must have hurt my finger.

    At least my critical thinking skills are firing on all cylinders.

    I need to mobilize. I turn onto my stomach, and my face mashes deep into the pillow, getting a full-on blast of girl smell. The scent—a mysterious amalgam of soap, peaches, and . . . mint?—travels up my nasal passages and slams into my brain.


    Veronica's face appears in my mind, speaking as she gets within kissing distance: "It's just because I feel bad for you."

    I remember. I made out with my best friend's sister in my best friend's sister's bed last night. That's incredibly exciting.

    But waitasecond. I have a girlfriend. A girlfriend who is not Veronica.

    I lift up the covers and look down at myself. My plaid shirt is unbuttoned. Thankfully, I am still wearing jeans. But pants or not, I have completely betrayed my girlfriend, Taryn. Who I really like. Her face pops into my brain: "You're really cool and great and fun, but I don't think I can do this."

    Hold on.

    Did my girlfriend dump me last night? I put my hands on my face and joggle my head back and forth, hoping to ease my brain-pain and settle my thoughts into some logical arrangement.

    She totally did.

    I made out with Veronica and got dumped by Taryn last night. Hopefully not in that order.

    My headache pulses. My mouth is sand.

    "Don't be ridiculous," I hear Paolo's mom say in a sharp tone. "He's just gonna mess this up." Her intensity is sobering, but only for a fleeting second.

    Time to go. I roll to the other side of the bed. A rotting-fruit smell collides with my nose, and I vomit. Right on Veronica's...

About the Author-

  • Lance Rubin is the author of Denton Little's Deathdate. He's worked as an actor and written sketch comedy, including successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He's also co-written a new musical called Broadway Bounty Hunter. Lance lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. He is very glad he doesn't know his deathdate. You can follow him online at LanceRubin.com and on Twitter @LanceRubinParty.


  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator and first-time author Lance Rubin shines as the voice of Denton Little, an "early" in a world in which AstroThanatoGenetics determines the exact date of people's deaths. As Denton's date of death approaches, strange and ominous things begin to happen. He and his best friend must navigate his funeral, prom, and love triangles, as well as threatening secrets that surround his family. Rubin's pacing and tone capture the suspense of a mounting mystery, and his bold, idiosyncratic delivery beautifully illustrates Denton's thoughts. His characterizations of family members and Denton's peers add wry humor and poignance to each scene. This is a refreshingly bizarre premise, well grounded in the realities of high school and family life, and Rubin's dynamic, offbeat charm stands out as he performs his debut novel. K.S.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 9, 2015
    Denton Little lives in a world just like ours, except that most people know the exact day they will die, thanks to advances in the field of “AstroThanatoGenetics.” Denton is a so-called “Early,” because he’s slated to die at age 17. On the day of his funeral, Denton wakes up with a wicked hangover and few memories of the night before, other than that he thinks he broke up with his girlfriend and made out with his best friend’s sister. As Denton’s death date creeps closer, he develops a strange purple rash, begins to have questions about his late mother, and wonders if he’s wasted his short life by trying to live it “normally.” Rubin’s debut doesn’t take itself too seriously—Denton gives a horrible rambling eulogy at his own funeral, and there’s even a coordinated dance number at prom—and the open-ended conclusion necessitates a sequel. But the tweaked contemporary setting, irreverent end-of-life humor, and big, existential questions make this a good pick for fans of John Corey Whaley’s Noggin. Ages 14–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media.

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