Title: They Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
First Publication: 2017
Major Characters: Mateo Torrez, Rufus Emeterio, Lidia, Delilah Gray, Andrea Donahue, Aimee Dubois
Setting Place: New York City, 2017
Theme: Mortality, Life, and Meaning; Human Connection and Social Media; Choices and Consequences; Friendship and Chosen Family
Narrator: First Person; Third Person
Book Summary: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
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.
Book Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
They Both Die at the End is the story of Mateo and Rufus, two very different guys who live in New York and then, one day at dawn, they receive the call from Death-Cast, a company that alerts people the day they’re going to die. They don’t tell you exactly when or why you’re going to die, they just tell you it’s going to happen in the next 24 hours and that you should say goodbye and put your affairs in order.
When Mateo, who’s a very shy and reserved guy, receives the call he panics and decides he’s going to make the most of his last day, but he can’t make himself go out of his apartment. That’s when he decides it’s a good idea to download the Last Friend app, that connects deckers (people who have received the call) and allows them to meet on their End Day. And that’s how he gets to know Rufus, an orphan guy who’s running from the police for having beaten the hell out of some dude, and spend his End Day with him.
“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.”
What hurt me most about They Both Die at the End is that, same as Rufus and Mateo at one point, I completely forgot that they were on their End Day. I was so absorbed by their adventures and their growing friendship, that I forgot the title of the book… Which was a big mistake!!!
They Both Die at the End was not a typical bucket list for people who are about to die; but a tale of two people who are doomed and are living the best moments of their life. They are learning to trust in a stranger; and they are trying to make things right for the people they’re leaving behind and who, above all, are daring to love until the very end.
“Maybe it’s better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs.”
They Both Die at the End has a very peculiar tone, because it’s not all dark and depressing, but it also isn’t all bright and full of hope. The story Adam is telling us is a melancholic and bittersweet one. Death is on every page, but also is Love and Friendship and Family. There’s the inevitability of everything ending, but also the thrilling sensation of the path they’re taking until the moment comes.
How Adam Silvera makes us believe in a relationship on the very End Day is amazing, because you’d think he’s used the classical instalove… but he didn’t. I think They Both Die at the End shows us how powerful bonds can be when formed under very stressful and intense situations. What I really loved about this aspect of the book was that, apart from Death, everything was a choice: trusting, hanging out together, going certain places, becoming friends, caring for the other. Everything was a choice, Destiny had nothing to do there.