Title: THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date: September 5th 2017
Content/Trigger Warnings: suicidal thoughts, death, violence
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 and to live a lifetime in a single day.
It’s been about a week since I finished this book and I cannot stop thinking about it. It was such an emotional ride in the best way possible, with such a unique concept and relatable & deeply lovable characters. I think this is one that will stick with me for a long time.
Let me start off by saying that everybody needs to read this book. Whether you’ve read Silvera’s past books, whether you haven’t read them, whether you liked his previous books or not, They Both Die At The End is a must-read.
The concept of They Both Die At The End is one of the most unique concepts I’ve ever read, and I think it was really well-done. However, I would have liked to learn a little more about how and why Death-Cast operates. I think the overall message of the book fit perfectly with the concept and it was just interesting to reflect throughout reading. Imagine having a system in which you’re notified that you’re going to die within 24 hours. What would you do with your day? Would you take risks, step out of your comfort zone and live for the day? Would you regret not acting on other things in your life sooner? How would you like to spend your last day? Some of these questions are very prominent in They Both Die At The End, especially considering this is a young adult novel and the two protagonists have to come to terms with the fact that they’re dying at such a young age. I definitely related to Mateo more than Rufus, but both boys taught each other lessons about life living their last day together, and they taught the reader lessons about life as well.
When we were first introduced to Rufus, I was really skeptical about whether or not I would like him. But as the book progressed and we got to know more about him, I found that he really grew on me. I adored Mateo right from the beginning, mostly because I felt I could relate to him moreso than Rufus. I feel like Mateo also had a lot more character development throughout the book, and seeing him step out of his comfort zone, try new things and finally accept his sexuality was such a joyous experience. I think Mateo and Rufus’s completely different personalities really fit well together and they were just the perfect match. I loved their interactions and I loved how they pushed each other to be the people they’ve always wanted to be. I loved them supporting each other and having fun with each other and just falling in love throughout this last day together. They truly were the perfect match and they deserved more time. (*cries*)
They Both Die At The End was certainly a more character driven story than plot driven, but the characters are so lovable that the lack of a solid plot doesn’t really matter. It’s just these two boys living their last day to the fullest, and it’s beautiful. I personally found that one of the driving factors of the story was the mystery of how the boys were going to die. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, wondering when and how it was going to happen for both Mateo and Rufus. But ultimately, it was a character driven story. I was a little off-put at first at the inclusion of random people’s POVs until I realised that they all had a purpose and interconnected with the main story. Once I realised that, I actually really liked the snippets we got from these extra POVs.
I’ve only read one other book by Adam Silvera and whilst I wasn’t a huge fan of that book in itself, I did still enjoy Silvera’s writing. I loved his writing even more in this one. Silvera knows how to write so he can hit you with all the feels. That’s all I can say about it. His writing isn’t overly poetic or flowery, but it’s still a nice style. And he has a way of writing that can make you laugh on one page and then cry on the next. Beware, you will be a crying mess at the end of this book. I was crying all through the last 20 minutes of the book and then some more afterwards as well.
Overall, They Both Die At The End is easily one of my favourite books of the year. It has a really great concept, lovable characters and great writing that will give you all the feels. Whether or not you’ve read and liked Silvera’s work before, this is a must-read. I will definitely be recommending this one to a lot of people for quite a while to come.
Note: if you do not wish to read books where the LGBTQIA+ characters die, I do not recommend this book. Whilst the characters do not die because of their sexuality, Mateo is gay and Rufus is bisexual and therefore reading about the deaths of these characters may be distressing.
Thanks so much for reading.
Until next time,