Book Review: They Both Die at the End


Grace Yemmma-Tschumper, Blueprint Staff


**Editor’s Note:  Spoilers ahead.  Read at your own risk.  Duh.**


They Both Die at the End.

It’s a title that immediately intrigues and captures you.  You’re immediately itching to know more, and once you start along Adam Silvera’s winding path it is impossible to turn around.  The third novel by Silvera is one that effortlessly clutches onto both your heart and attention and refuses to let go.  A heartbreaking story of the inevitable, They Both Die at the End is a must read.

This is a story of two young men who get calls early in the morning from Death-Cast, the company that informs people that they are going to die that day.

One on the run from the cops, and the other’s only family in a coma, Rufus and Mateo seek out a bit of companionship on their End Day.  They each sign up to an app to find a “Last Friend,” someone to spend their last day alive with.  The ultimate no strings attached relationship.

Mateo lived his whole life playing it safe, absolutely paranoid that he was going to hear the dreaded song of the Death-Cast ringtone, staying up late every night, waiting for the call.  He was a burning candle, slow and steady.

Rufus, however, lived his life as a firework, bright and explosive.

On their last days, they need to learn from each other, spending their last days alive living the lives they always wanted to live before it was too late.  Mateo, yearning to break out of his shell, and Rufus in need of Mateo’s caution and thoughtfulness.

A beautiful relationship blossoms between the two strangers who blindly open up to one another and pour their hearts out because they have no reason to withhold.  When you are going to be dead tomorrow you don’t have to worry about the consequences today.

Silvera spins a masterful web of minor and major characters that come together in the end.  A perfect balance of light and dark, the story graciously tackles mature themes and has a deep atmosphere as well as refreshing diversity.

One of the best elements was how well developed the world in the story was.  Despite being set in 2017 the book is in a vastly different environment than we are, it is amazing how much a society could realistically change with a company that wakes you up in the middle of the night to tell you that by the end of the day, you will be dead.  We as a society don’t have anything like it, but only a few chapters in the reader is able to get a great grasp on the concept behind Death Cast as well as the lingo that surround it.  It was not an ill-developed system, only there to serve the purpose of the story at hand, but a well-planned company.  The book is full of otherwise minute details that are incredibly significant when considering the concept of Death Cast and knowing that you are going to die that day.

The story transcends the pages.  Readers not only get to experience the characters and storyline but also come into contact with their own fears and struggle with death.  If you knew you were dying today, would be disappointed with how you’ve lived your life?  It is impossible to not get anything from this book.  From when you open the cover to when you turn the last page, your perspective is guaranteed to change.

An enrapturing story, They Both Die At The End is a needed addition to your shelves.