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01 May, 2018

[Review] They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Series: N/A
Release Date: 05 September, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Gay & Lesbian/Hispanic/Social & Family Issues/Death & Dying
ISBN: 9780062457813
Edition: Ebook
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Written: 24 April, 2018
Summary: On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called "profound."

See more by Adam Silvera at his Website.

Warning: IF YOU HAVE A HARD TIME HANDLING THE TOPIC OF DEATH OR DYING, THIS BOOK PROBABLY IS NOT FOR YOU.



I should have known better from the title, but the morbid curiosity bit into me and held me tight in the need to read this book. I spent months trying to convince myself not to read it, the title is a dead giveaway for what’s going to happen and how you probably should not read it if you’re not prepared to face your own mortality. As it stands, I prefer to think of myself as an immortal almost-thirty year old who is squandering everything anyways without a romantic interest. If my life were a book, I’d definitely be a side character half the time.

They Both Die at the End exists in an alternate reality where death has become a business. DeathCast, a mysterious entity, can predict when you’re going to die, at least the day. This way they can work with other death themed businesses (morgues, hospitals, etc.) to expedite your funeral plans so you’re welcome to spend your final hours on the planet working towards making amends with everyone else. When Mateo and Rufus get the call, they’re both definitely scared, each in their own way. The entire book left me anxious as I read on, trying to pinpoint the ways they could die. Ultimately they escape death twice before finally dying and I was just furious.

Throughout the book, different little things are left as hints. Side-characters pop-up at random, showing their perspective of events happening and in some-cases hinting at how they might be involved in the deaths. I was prepared for Mateo and Rufus to die in a shoot-out or a club shooting. I was not prepared for Mateo to end up dead because he forgot the stove in his apartment was broken. I wasn’t prepared for Rufus to die because of a DeathCast employee hitting him with his car. In some ways I think DeathCast causes their deaths, pushing people out of their comfort zones and leaving them in a state of semi-conscious awareness that they will be dying at some point that day.

The romance in the book felt slightly forced. While I believe love can blossom in strange times, it was ultimately the ‘love’ between Rufus and Mateo that brought on their deaths. Seriously, had they stayed outside or stayed on the bed until after midnight, they would have lived. Instead they end up back at the apartment to spend their last hours together and Mateo ends up dying because he wants to make tea before he and Rufus go to visit his dad one more time in the hospital. If you can’t tell, I have some strong feelings about how this book ended. Ultimately the book was a good one, however it broke my heart into pieces and left me anxious for a week while I worked on reading through it.

I’m not certain if I’ll ever pick up Mr. Silvera’s other books, honestly I don’t know if I could reread this one without knowing more about how DeathCast works. And my opinion still stands. If DeathCast wasn’t around people might die on the day but they might not either. DeathCast takes all the chance out of life, or perhaps, out of death.

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