They Both Die At The End Review

Friday, 15 September 2017

By: Adam Silvera 
Rating: 5/5
Source: Amazon

On September 5th, 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.

This book broke me, I just want to make that very clear before I get into the rest of this review. I don't know why I thought reading a book where the main characters die would be easier because their death is promised in title, it definitely isn't. 

Mateo lives a quiet life, too afraid of stepping out of his comfort zone to have done much living when he gets the call saying he's going to die. With his father in a coma and his best friend being a single mum to his goddaughter, Mateo feels alone and turns to Last Friend in the hope of finding someone to help him live his life in twenty-four hours. 

Rufus on the other hand lives the opposite of a quiet life, we meet him in the middle of beating up his ex girlfriend's current boyfriend and then he gets the call. It isn't the way Rufus saw things going, he'd already lost his parents and older sister to the Death-Cast, now it was his turn. As events unfold Rufus finds himself on the run from the police and separated from his friends, so Rufus also finds himself on Last Friend.

"No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end."

I was really intrigued by the idea of Death-Cast, is life better when you know that you'll get a call on your End Day? Does it eliminate fear and encourage you to make the most of life? For Mateo it didn't, he spent his days indoors playing video games and following the last moments of others who got the call. Rufus says that it doesn't matter and that he and Mateo just need to accept what is happening and live. 

"...I think you should post your life in colour."

Rufus and Mateo share their final hours together through Rufus' Instagram (so Gen Z, so relatable), sharing new experiences, getting to know each other and living as full a life as you possibly can in a day. For such an upsetting book there was some really touching moments that I don't want to ruin for any potential readers, but Mateo and his lego house made me very warm and fuzzy. 

"Twelve hours ago I received the phone call telling me I'm going to die today, and I'm more alive now than I was then."

Throughout the book there are stories from other characters, one of those characters is Deidre Clayton, who goes through a tough time dealing with the whole premise of the Death-Cast and has suicidal thoughts because of it. Honestly one of my first thoughts about the subject when I read about it was how could anyone deal with the knowledge that one day their phone will ring and there's nothing you can do to change things? In life you like to think that death can be avoided, if you get in an accident that you could be helped, you can get treatment for illness and get better. The call is a unavoidable death sentence, and that's scary. 

"You can't go around telling people you wanna be a tree and expect them to take you seriously."

Something I really liked about the book is the different conversations and opinions about the afterlife. For someone who is afraid of death, yes that's me -and I'm reading a book about so much death, it was really comforting for me to think about what could happen after death, some things I've never thought about. Death is so uncertain and there's no way to ever know what really happens, so we can choose to believe whatever we want if it helps us to navigate the world. It does help, or at least it does for me.

"I will make it so easy for you to find me. Neon signs. Marching bands." 

Mateo and Rufus really were the most perfect characters to lead me through this story. Of course it's a curse that they didn't meet sooner but the time they did have together was made so special by their willingness to go all out and just be themselves. The two of them lived out what would have been months of a new friendship, in a single day, and it was beautiful.

I could go on and on about this book, there's characters I haven't covered who are amazing but I want to leave something for anyone reading this who is going to pick up the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA/LGBTQ+ reads, obviously there is some sensitive topics in this book so please read at your own discretion and do so in the comfort of your own home with a partner or pet or stuffed animal nearby for all the cuddles -you're going to need a lot

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