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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review - The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson

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Review by Suze

Ollie receives a Deathday letter. He's fifteen years old and his life is about to end. Deathday letters arrive 24 hours before the actual death, so the recipient has the time to say goodbye. For Ollie the letter means he has one day left to really live. He is still young and hasn't done much of it yet, but he has one day left to live life to the fullest and he's going to use this time well. Together with his best friend Shane and his ex girlfriend and best friend Ronnie he tries to do things that are on the bucket lists they made for a school project. Ollie's last day is supposed to be one big adventure, a fantastic day that should teach him what it's like to feel alive.

The Deathday Letter starts with a terrible message for Ollie. He's going to die and there's nothing he can do about it. Instead of spending his last day quietly while being in shock, he decides to make it the best day he can think of. Ollie is kind, he's forgetful, he's still pretty clueless about girls and he does stupid things from time to time, which often made me laugh. Shane is a loyal best friend and even though Ronnie and Ollie have problems she's there for him on his last day. I liked the friendship element a lot. The deep connection between the main characters makes this book very special. 

Shaun David Hutchinson has a great sense of humor. The way he describes what's going on in Ollie's mind is brilliant. Even though the topic of The Deathday Letter is a heavy one, the story feels light. It's a chaotic whirlwind filled with exciting adventures and impulsive decisions, I loved the energy. Death has a prominent place, it's a sad occasion, so I expected to read a story that would make me cry all the time, but instead Shaun David Hutchinson managed to make me smile. His story is about more than just life and death, there's so much in between. I loved the message he's spreading, no matter when your death date is going to be, make sure you've lived before it's there.

I really enjoyed The Deathday Letter's original twists and turns. Shaun David Hutchinson managed to surprise me over and over again. I loved his vivid descriptions and I could feel the despair, the warmth and the love. I liked how he used opposites to his advantage and turned them into an impressive story. The ending is fitting and I had tears in my eyes when I read it. I loved this crazy, beautiful and unique story.


  1. Sounds like a great story, very unique and different from everything I've read. The friendship between the characters sounds really nice.
    Loved your review!

  2. The readers including you seems to love it. And I want to read it!

  3. I wasn't sure when I first started to read your review as it sounded like you mentioned, heavy and sad. But as you continued, it sounded actually like it could be a bit inspiring if readers could take from the book, that we should live each day to the maximum.

  4. This sounds different!! Thanks for the review

  5. I really enjoyed reading the entire post today. This is a new author for me so thank you for the reveal!

  6. It doesn't sound like my kind of book but I can wholeheartedly agree with the message of living each moment When my Dad died suddenly & unexpectedly last year it really brought this home to me. Since then I've been steadily working through my bucket list!

  7. While this does sound like a very interesting and unique sort of read, it's one that I would pass over. Don't get me wrong-- I can easily imagine this book being valuable and satisfying for others. However, for me personally it just doesn't seem like one that I would enjoy reading.
    I wholeheartedly appreciate the messages of "Living life to the fullest" and "Appreciating every day," but these are themes that I've encountered in a variety of other books. (As a side note, for some reason Paulo Coelho's "Veronika Decides to Die" comes to mind.)

  8. This really sounds good!