My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
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.
MY THOUGHTS (SPOILER-FREE):
“You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”
I just finished reading this book and I’m pretty much an emotional mess. So I’m not quite sure how this review will turn out, but I’m just gonna go with and we’ll see. Because somehow, I feel like an emotional word-dump is the best way to give justice to this gorgeous book. And well, to Adam Silvera’s writing in general. Every book I’ve read by him so far has been equally glorious. I don’t typically pick up sad books myself, but even though every Adam Silvera book has me grabbing my tissues and sobbing my eyes out, he’s become an auto-buy author for me. Because he has a unique ability to write these emotional and sad books, but books that still leave you with a flicker of hope in the end and a small smile on your face. The messages in them are deep and often confrontational, but it’s almost impossible to finish one of his books and not feel like a changed person by the end.
How do I even begin to describe They Both Die At The End? The blurb and the title say it all. And yet, you’ll still be turning the pages, wondering what’ll happen and if these two boys can still do it. If they can still make it and live past today. But in the end, this story isn’t about their (forecasted) death, but about their life. Their fears, their insecurities, eveything that has been troubling them and holding them back.
Mateo and Rufus are both wonderful characters, incredibly written, flawed and realistic but so loveable. Mateo is a precious little cinnamon roll, who’s so kind and nice but afraid of the world and everything in it. Rufus is tough on the outside, but has a heart of gold and is just trying to get by after losing his entire family. Together they form an amazing team, ready to take on their last day. Their connection was beautiful to watch and though their story takes place in just one day, it never feels like insta-love. Just a deep, natural connection.
What I also unexpectedly loved about this, were the short chapters here and there from other characters’ POV. Normally I would feel like this would take away from the main story and would just be a distraction, but it really worked. It helped me see how seemingly unimportant side characters still can have an impact on the main plot and also how everybody has their own story going on. It’s definitely been a great writing choice that only added to the story of Mateo and Rufus.
The worldbuilding also really worked for me. Though we don’t go into a lot of detail on Death-Cast and how exactly it works, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not about the science behind it. It’s about the life. And even if we don’t get the science, we get a great view on the impact this Death-Cast has on society as a whole and on people’s lifes. And that’s enough for me.
Ultimately, this is a beautiful and emotional story about life, death, regret, loss, friendship, love and family. Adam Silvera is a master at crafting these gorgeous stories and I can only recommend them to absolutely everybody.
“…stories can make someone immortal as long as someone else is willing to listen.”
“I cannot tell you how you will survive without me. I cannot tell you how to mourn me. I cannot convince you to not feel guilty if you forget the anniversary of my death, or if you realize days or weeks or months have gone by without thinking about me. I just want you to live.”
“There has to be more to life than just imagining a future for yourself. I can’t just wish for the future; I have to take risks to create it.”
“But no matter what choices we make – solo or together – our finish line remains the same … No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”
“People have their time stamps on how long you should know someone before earning the right to say it, but I wouldn’t lie to you no matter how little time we have. People waste time and wait for the right moment and we don’t have that luxury. If we had our entire lives ahead of us I bet you’d get tired of me telling you how much I love you because I’m positive that’s the path we were heading on. But because we’re about to die, I want to say it as many times as I want–I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.”