Things I'd Rather Do Than Die
by Christine Hurley Deriso
Pub Date: 18 Sep 2018
Read courtesy of www.Netgalley.com
I recently reviewed Christine Hurley Deriso's All the Wrong Chords, which I loved. I really wanted to like Things I'd Rather Do Than Die as much, but alas, I give it 4 instead of 5 ⭐. I also read Deriso's Acknowledgment section of this novel, and I'm glad she took the advice of her editor; having the main characters tell their tale in alternating scenarios made this story more thoughtful than if it had been a one-sided story. Stereotypes of jocks, brains, Jesus freaks, popularity, race and ethnicity, financial status, family structures, and illnesses became something about which I wanted to contemplate rather than be swayed. I can picture my teen readers discussing this story.
However, it was those amount of topics Deriso tried to squeeze into this one novel that caused my rating to lose a potential star. Maybe teens with slightly shorter attention spans won't mind the topic hopping, but I found it a bit distracting. I think it will affect my ability to discuss and recommend the book to my students. Other than being able to remember the basic plot, it's the nuances that might be lost to what I usually try to relate with enthusiasm.
On the other hand, Deriso handled all of the sensitive topics well. She allowed the characters to present their different points-of-view just like 'real' teens would. Kudos to that!!