Friday, January 28, 2011

The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson

Jacket Blurb:
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.

My Review:
I gave this 3 out of 5 stars, and I still can't decide if I want to burn it or love it. I almost stopped reading it (and throw it across the room) like five times because the main character was such an ASSHOLE. Grade A. But simultaneously you feel bad for him and want to hug him and make him be a JOLLY. There was a ton of dirty humor (basically typical 15-year-old boy humor) which turned me off, but at the same time there was a lot of other humor that had me in stitches. The plot was inevitable but still kept me wondering WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.
Clearly I'm bewildered by this book. I think for people like me, who are constantly turned off by the content but manage to finish it, will at least appreciate the overall effect of the book. Some people, I'm sure, will read it and love it just because of the humor.
I thought Ronnie and Shane were fantastic supporting characters. I especially admired them for sticking by Oliver regardless of whatever stupid stunt he was going to attempt next, both to keep him company and also keep him from doing anything TOO illegal/stupid/degrading. Oliver's family was fantastic and crazy: I want Nana to be my BFF, and I want to observe the Evil Twins from a safe distance and laugh at their victims.
This book also reminded me of the film Stranger Than Fiction, specifically a conversation that Emma Thompson's character and Dustin Hoffman's character have about characters that know they're about to die. This book kinda contradicts their conversation, and is basically exploring the idea of, "What if we KNEW when we were going to die? Would it change anything?" If that concept bothers you, don't read this book.


Snazel said...

I really, um, think this isn't the book for me. What do you think?

Bahnree said...

Probably not, no.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

FYI: This review rocks. It made me laugh. Ollie isn't everyone's pudding cup and I appreciate your honesty.

Between you, me, and the Internet, while I was writing it, I didn't know whether I wanted to love it or burn it either.

Thanks for reading it.

Bahnree said...

Thank you for reading my review, Shaun!

"Everyone's pudding cup"...I see what you done there.