Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Review: The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson

Imagine knowing that you are going to die tomorrow. Not so much how, or why, just a friendly rainbow embellished letter informing you that your last living day is today. Welcome to Oliver's world, which is very much like our world, with the addition of a Deathday Letter, a letter each person receives the day before they die. Oliver gets his letter on October 16th, before he turns 16, drives a car or does some other things that are very important to his 15-year-old self.

His parents are sad, and his family is creeping him out with the way they are acting. All he wants is for his last day to be normal. So he goes to school. Thank goodness for his friend Shane, who breaks him out of school with their friend Ronnie, for one last great adventure. Of course, things don't go easy or as planned. Partially due to Ronnie's role as Ollie's ex-girlfriend. But as a former best friend, she deserves to be part of the last day group. The three of them find themselves doing things they never thought they would do, or at least thought they would have a few years to live out.

I've got to hand it to author Shaun David Hutchinson, The Deathday Letter that takes a fresh look at death, and how teens may react if they knew it was their last day. It may be a sad subject, but the book is laugh out loud funny. The way that Oliver "Carpes Mortediem" (seizes death) is outrageous, yet completely plausible. The best thing about Oliver is he is a completely normal teen-aged boy who just happens to know that today is going to be his last. He has a great family, including evil twin sister, great friends in Shane and Ronnie, and even though he has a good head on his shoulders, he is completely clueless at times.

The Deathday Letter is best described as a mix of the books You and Carter Finally Gets It. Fans of humours "boy" books are going to love this one. Remember this is a book about a 15-year-old boy who is living his last day on earth. He does things things and thinks even more things that are typical 15-year-old boy thoughts.

I"ll see you @ the library!
Katie (Check out website for The Deathday Letter for character bios, fun stuff and contests!)

PS- I don't usually do this, but I have to share my favorite quote from the The Deathday Letter: "The whole emotional thing was making me uncomfortable. It's like watching the end of The Notebook while reading the end of To Kill a Mockingbird while someone punches you in the face. Again." (pg 189). Have you ever felt that way?