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About the Author
From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B003L785WE
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 9, 2010)
- Publication date : June 9, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 488 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 257 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,056,134 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And then you'd read it again - slowly this time.
This book has a powerful (super powerful) message - but it's told with such amazing humor that you don't realize the intensity of what you are reading - until you can't catch your breath and you realize that you can't tell if it's from laughing or wanting to cry.
I would be afraid of being friends with this author because he is so perceptive he'd see through any illusions or facades I had with a piercing wisdom that you just can't avoid. If he's looking at you, he's going to see to the core of you, that much I could tell from the depth of his characters. Not that the book is preachy or heavy - this author is also wickedly hysterical. The other danger in being friends with him would be that you would never stop laughing until you had to change your pants from it. HE - IS - JUST - SO - GENUINELY - FUNNY.
The humor is honest but loving when directed at others - but most of the time it's directed at himself, which is the highest kind of humor.
Again - the pendulum swings but not in an imbalanced way. As wildly funny as the author is, he is not pointless or silly or without substance. What kind of nerve and courage does it take to write about a young man dying - and make it FUNNY? But he does. There is just the right balance of depth of meaning and humor, is what I guess I am saying. Not too much of either. Often you can't separate the two, the powerful message is wrapped in the humor and they become one. That's a talent not just as a writer but as a human being.
Everybody should think about what they'd do if they got a Deathday letter - and I am sure many, many readers will. That's a gift he has given his readers, because there WILL be many people who are more prepared for their own death because of this funny little story.
I think I'll close with this. My favorite quote from the book was, "We don't get much in the way of Fall down in Florida. Still, it's the one time of year when people actually celebrate stuff getting old instead of trying to cut it out, cover it up, or stretch it tighter than a snare drum. Age is yellow and red and orange and brown, and I think that makes it kind of awesome."
If this author wanted, with his story, to make us think about Death without so much horror and fear, without so much avoidance and angst, he succeeded. It's not that he made light of the emotions involved in someone (esp. someone young) dying. But you do leave this book feeling like maybe - just maybe - Death isn't the monstrous boogie man you thought it was.
If I had to sum up the book and what it meant to me in one sentence it would be my other favorite quote from the book. "And I realize the truth: I was dead yesterday, and I'll be dead tomorrow, but today I'm alive."
Esmerelda Little Flame author of Temple of the Twelve Vol. One: Novice of Colors
and Temple of the Twelve Vol. Two: Flight of Colors
This sends him on a trail of what-ifs and adventures on his last day of existence. With the help of his friends he awkwardly parties, doing things he's never done before, even illegal things. Skipping school, taking drugs, shoplifting, attempting to lose his virginity...nothing is off limits on this day since the clock is ticking. This novel tugged at my emotions since it's both funny and sad.
There are copious references to sex as the author gives a juicy snapshot of a teenage boy's mind. If you're easily offended, this book isn't for you. Otherwise, it's unique, enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Hutchinson does it again and does not disappoint!
The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson is a young adult standalone novel. This is not the first book by Shaun David Hutchinson that I have read; in fact it’s the third one. Since the first two books I read by this author did not disappoint, I decided I would read everything he writes.
Hutchinson’s stories are all unique but have the common theme of one or two main characters who are young homosexual males. However, the sexual orientation of the characters is not the main focus of Hutchinson’s stories, which lends appeal to readers outside the LGBTQ+ community.
The Deathday Letter is about a girl-crazy high school boy named Ollie Travers who receives his Deathday Letter and learns he has 24 hours to live. There is no rhyme or reason why some people receive the letter and others don’t. They also don’t know how they will die at the end of the 24 hours. Ollie decides to make the most of it and spends his last 24 hours making things right with his ex-girlfriend and spending time with his gay best friend. The 3 friends embark on a day of trying to knock things off Ollie’s and the other’s bucket lists. This includes some craziness like driving without a license, trespassing, and cops. The book starts out by saying the first thing you need to know about Ollie Travers is he is going to die, which might’ve deterred me from continuing (when a book hints straight away the main character will die, I’m not apt to continue.) But because I have so much confidence in Hutchinson’s stories, I didn’t let that deter me from reading.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and loved the 3 main characters. Ollie’s raunchiness, however, was a bit repetitive and it made me think: is this what high school boys think about 24/7?
This book is shelved in the young adult section, but some of the content walks a fine line between PG-13 and R. I would recommend this for readers 16+.
This book earns 4 North of Normal stars!
Top reviews from other countries
His best friend joins him in a series of adventures as they do all the things they wrote on their "to do before I die list" a few years previously. But the one thing Ollie really cares about is getting back together with his girlfriend before he dies. Can he manage it?
The author helpfully tells us right from the start that Ollie is not going to get out of this alive. I hesitated to read the book, thinking it would be too sad, but it was in fact an enjoyable read with several laugh-out-loud moments.
I think that the target audience is teenage boys (and girls) as I found that I cared more about Ollie's family than I think the book allowed for. You also need a high tolerance for the kind of talk and jokes about sex that you find with boys of that age - having brought up two sons, I thought that author struck a very authentic note.
It's an easy read and I loved the voice. I'd recommend it.