Book Review: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die At The End Feature Images

Title: They Both Die At The End

Author: Adam Silvera

Series? Death-Cast (#1) 

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre(s): Contemporary, LGBTQ+

Age Range: New Adult

Publication: 5 September 2017 (HarperTeen)

CW: animal death, blood, child death, death, drowning, gang violence, grief, gun violence, suicide ideation

Adam Silvera, how dare you wreck my heart and soul?

I know what you’re probably thinking. Felicia, how could you possibly be shocked that you’re upset by a book that literally says the characters die at the end IN THE TITLE? Well, look, you might have a point. But the way that Adam Silvera invented this alternate reality and the emotional connection he established between the characters and readers gave me a false security that completely caught me off guard. I thought I was prepared for the ending. I was so very wrong.

In They Both Die At The End, death is a surprise to no one. An organization called Death-Cast is in charge of alerting individuals that they will die in 24 hours. On September 5th, Mateo and Rufus, two teenage boys, receive the call that their lives are about to cut short—extremely short. Using an app called The Last Friend, the two are matched together and go on one last adventure to try to eliminate any regrets they have about their lives before they come to an end.

I basically fell in love with this book and then it did me dirty.

I guess I should have seen it coming. But hey, let a girl be optimistic every now and then please and thanks. On a more serious note, let’s chat about the book. Mateo and Rufus are opposites, the kind of people who were fated to meet because of the invaluable lessons they brought to their friendship. On their last day, they each were given a fresh start by meeting each other which I think was really cool.

I have death-related anxiety so the idea of Death-Cast freaked me out. The thought of these characters having nothing on their mind all day but their impending doom was…. alarming, to say the least. Why someone would want to know the day they die baffles me. However, what I do know is that I would definitely be a Mateo in the Death-Cast world—obsessive and paranoid, hiding in my room, wondering if my bookcase would topple over and suffocate me. His anxiety about the scary outside world was all too familiar to me. Seeing him push past his fears was inspiring and actually empowered me to push past my own fears in a non-Death-Cast environment.

We never act…Only react once we realize the clock is ticking.

Adam Silvera

They Both Die At The End has similar vibes to The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

The concept of fate plays very strongly into the plot; the idea that what’s meant to be will be. The way that Silvera introduced several minor characters along the way that are affected by the actions of Mateo and Rufus throughout their End Day was really interesting. It made my head spin a little—if this hadn’t happened, then that wouldn’t have happened, etcetera—but in a good way.

My only qualm was that there were a handful of patches in this book where I was getting a little bored. Sometimes we got stuck in one scene for a little too long. Most of the time, however, the story was quite fast-paced and kept me hooked by making me wonder how all these events would play into Mateo and Rufus’s deaths—but these few scenes just made me skim a few paragraphs and anxiously wait for the pace to pick back up. All in all, I genuinely enjoyed this book.

Despite giving the game away in the title, this book was engaging, beautiful, heartbreaking, and intensely powerful.

Synopsis: 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.

Would you sign-up for Death-Cast if you lived in this universe? Let me know in the comments.

Enjoy this review? Check out my other book reviews next!


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