Title: They Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date: September 7th 2017
When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.
Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.
Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…
Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
Imagine living in a world where you know what day you’ll die, where sometime between midnight and 3am you get a phone call letting you know you have less than 24 hours to live. This is the world Mateo and Rufus live in, and today both of them have received their call from Death-Cast. Mateo is at home, life he is every night, when his phone rings and Rufus in the middle of beating up his ex-girlfriends new boyfriend, but before long these two characters come together on their last day.
I loved the concept of this book. The Death-Cast doesn’t tell you anything except the day. You don’t know the time, or place, or why, just that before the day is over you’ll die. There are people who try and outsmart the Death-Cast, but once you’ve received a call your time is up, and most people just try and make the most of their last hours on earth which is where the Last Friends app comes in.
Mateo wants to make his mark on the world, to live before he dies, and after being forced to leave his friends behind fleeing from the police both boys end up on Last Friends – an app designed to give Deckers someone to spend their last hours with – and they decide to cram as much living into the one day they have as they can.
They Both Die at the End was incredible. If I only had one word to describe this book it would be that; incredible. I fell in love with both Mateo and Rufus and I wanted them to be happy, I wanted them to have a happy ending but I knew how this book would end. Like his other stories Silvera’s They Both Die at the End was a heartbreaking read, emotional and very moving. It raised some interesting questions for me as well as a strong desire for more from this world Adam Silvera created. They Both Die at the End is going to be a book that stays with me for a long time to come.
Mateo has never really lived. He spent all his time begin cautious, locked up in his room scared of new experiences and the possibility of death even when on days he hadn’t received his Death-Cast call. When he gets his call though he realises how much of his life he’s missed out on and is determined to make the most of his last day. Mateo is still scared, even more so now he knows he could die at any minute, but he still had so much he wants to do and he’s determined to do it.
With his mother long dead and his father comatose in hospital Mateo needs to say goodbye to the few people he has, even if they can’t hear him. He reaches out to his father, visits his best friend and goddaughter though he can’t bring himself to tell Lidia he received his call. The friendship between Lidia and Mateo was incredibly written, and despite the fact that his father was comatose I loved the relationship we saw between Mateo and his dad.
Rufus has made many mistakes, and beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend is one of them that comes back to haunt him. Rufus has already lost his parents and his elder sister, was with them when they received their Death-Cast call and when they died, so he knows the bitter reality of it all. He may not have his family but he does have his friends, the Plutos. They’ve been with him ever since he lost his parents and was placed in foster care, they’re his new family and they’re who he wants to say goodbye to.
Like Mateo Rufus changes in the day of his death. Knowing you’re going to die puts things in perspective and as Rufus pushes Mateo to try new things, to do what he wants to in his last day, Mateo helps Rufus to open up and to be a better person in the short time he has left.
Despite only knowing one another for a day, after all a day is all they have left, I really felt for the relationship the two of them have with each other. Mateo and Rufus are in the same situation and what they can’t share with the people they’ll leave behind they can share with one another. With Rufus Mateo finds the bravery to do things he never did before, was never brave enough to, and with Mateo Rufus learns to let go of the guilt and grief he’s been holding onto since his family died. The two characters are so good for one another and their relationship was both incredibly sweet and so heartbreaking at the same time.
They Both Die at the End isn’t just a story told from Mateo’s and Rufus’s perspectives. Everyone’s lives are affected by the Death-Cast calls and we see glimpses of those lives throughout this book. From the people who are losing ones they love, to other people who received the call that morning, and even to the people who make the calls and make business off the soon-to-be-dead Deckers.
This is probably my favourite Adam Silvera book. I loved every single page of it, and even though I knew how the story would end for both Mateo and Rufus I couldn’t help fall in love with both characters as they tried to squeeze all their living into one last day.
What did you think of They Both Die at the End? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.