Posted: October 17th, 2013
Date with Death
The novel, Date with Death is a fictional book authored by Diane Hoh. The novel is part of a series of books titled the Horror High series. Based on exclusive horror themes and connotations, the books mainly target the juvenile audience. The 256-paged novel explores the lives of Megan and her friends who are evidently barred form attending the coveted and most popular event in the school year, Prom Night. What they can only do is envy the popular girls like Stephanie and Kiki who will be there. However, trouble looms that night when Stephanie is murdered and Kiki becomes involved in a car accident. Because of the tragic events surrounding that night, Megan is determined to unravel the truth.
The themes of the horror genre are the main aspects that attract the youth to this book. In order to capitalize on the genre, Diane Hoh employs different language techniques to emphasize the narrative of the book. By employing a total school setting, the author uses imagery to assist the reader adopt to the book and helping them to visualize the setting the structure with which they are most familiar. The author also captures the different social groups that are characteristic of schools. For instance, Stephanie and Kiki are part of a popular clique in school while Megan and her friends are unpopular (Hoh, 45). In most scenarios, there is usually a conflict between these two classes, where the popular class attempts to humiliate the unpopular ones. Furthermore, the attempts are viewed as competition between the two classes to capture the attention of the popular people in school.
Diane Hoh’s books such as Prom Date and some of the Horror High series books employ informal and easy language throughout. Date of Death is no exception. The book is relatively easy to read given that it is young adult fiction. Informal or colloquial language assists the readers in identifying with the story in the novel since it reflects the daily language young people utilize to converse with each other. The use of informal language also allows the reader to understand the various plots in the book and be in-depth with the novel by exposing the culture among the youth. The tone the author uses throughout the novel is mysterious. The reason for using such a tone is to emphasize on the suspense and horror evident and characteristic of the book. Additionally, the use of a mysterious tone allows the author to emphasize on other emotions associated with the genre of the novel. Evidently, some of the emotions experienced in the book are pain, sadness and fear, which ensure that the reader grasps the emotions and situations of the fictional characters in the book.
The themes exalted by the book are mostly centered on the occurrences in the youth. One of the themes that are clearly brought in the novel is empathy. Despite the envy, jealousy and dislike felt towards Stephanie and Kiki by Megan and her friends, Megan still attempts to discover the reasons and motives circulating Stephanie’s demise. Another theme that is emphasized in the novel is jealousy. The murder of Stephanie as assumed by Megan is most likely based on competition between another member of the popular girls’ clique (Hoh, 24). The theme mostly associates with the youth since most schools in American societies are plagued by competition between students to prove popularity in schools.
By using such themes, the author attracts the targeted audience, which is mostly the youth. Such themes such as empathy, relationships, jealousy are mostly common among the young people since they are some of the factors that the youth come across daily, especially in their various educational institutions. The emotions exhibited in the novel also serve to highlight the different emotional states of the novel’s characters. For instance, the conversation between Megan and one of the popular people, Dan indicates the surprise felt by Megan as she thought that it was impossible for the popular people to know unpopular students in the school. Furthermore, themes such as death are also described by the emotions in the novel. For instance, the death of Leah Markham sparks fear around the school further emphasized by the murder, which was infact intentional.
Date with Death is a novel that captures the attention of the reader. Despite being criticized to be in line with another Horror High book, Prom Date, the book has its own plot and theme and is fascinating, mysterious and suspicious to the end. The novel is a fantastic book that portrays the various situations youth grow through and collectively pieces up every source detail from the beginning to the conclusion.
Hoh, Diane. Date with Death. London: Scholastic, 2009. Print.
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