This is a spoiler-free review. I will not be giving away any major plot details beyond the premise of the book.
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera deals with the age-old question: what would you do if you found out you only had one day left to live? The book is set in an alternate reality of our own in which a company called Death-Cast calls people in the early hours of the morning to tell them they’re going to die that day. It follows the story of Mateo and Rufus, two teenagers who both receive this call and meet through an app called The Last Friend. Together, they make their way around New York City in an attempt to live a lifetime’s worth of adventures in one day.
This book destroyed me. It broke my heart. As you can tell from the title: it did not have a happy ending. And I can say this knowing it isn’t a spoiler because it’s literally in the title. There are no loopholes, and there are no ways to cheat death. If Death-Cast calls, you’re going to die that day. So obviously, the title is correct. I felt I should warn you in case you were hoping otherwise. You’re better off knowing now. It’s interesting, though, going into a book knowing how it’s going to end. Some might even question the point of reading it at all. But the point of this book isn’t the ending: it’s the journey getting there.
Apart from the soul-crushing ending, I loved this book. It was told through split-perspectives, so you get to experience the thoughts and feelings of both the main characters. The way their stories were woven together was brilliant, and the relationship they built throughout felt real and genuine. It’s hard to go into too much detail without giving it away. I just think this is one of those books where you have to read it for yourself and see how touching and beautiful it is.
One really cool thing about They Both Die At The End was that there are numerous chapters that aren’t told from either Rufus or Mateo’s point of view. They’re told in third-person but revolve around a minor character or someone who isn’t all that relevant to the story. They were usually someone who had also received a call from Death-Cast or in some cases, a person who works for Death-Cast. At first, I wasn’t sure why Adam Silvera was giving us these chapters. But I ended up finding them intriguing because they made me realise just how many people die each day. It was a fact I’d always known, but that I’d never dwelt on before. And it made me think about how incredible this world would be where we could know when it’s going to be our last day. It has its drawbacks, which are a huge part of the book. But it also gives you a chance to live your last day to the fullest, to say goodbye to the people you love, and to emotionally prepare yourself as best you can for the moment when you finally kick the bucket.
This book made me think about death and life. It made me think about wanting to live my life to the fullest more – and not that cliche about living each day as if it’s your last. That’s unrealistic, and, in my opinion, not the point of this book. They Both Die At The End highlights how important it is to face your fears, to overcome challenges, to do things just for the heck of it, and to take chances. To take every chance that comes your way. There was a quote used in the book, spoken by Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. I’m going to end this review with that quote to make my point clear and to convince you to just read this book…
“It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
MY RATING: 7.5/10
READ IF YOU ENJOYED:
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Fault In Our Stars John Green
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