They Both Die at the End

Jaclyn Brubaker, Staff Writer

“My Last Message would be to find your people. And to treat each day like a lifetime.”

Let’s be honest, even the title of this book, They Both Die At The End, is pretty intense, and may dissuade us from even wanting to pick up the book. I had the same apprehensions about this novel, so much so that it took me months to actually read the book after buying it. However, despite this book being very heavy, it is definitely worth a read.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera takes place in a world where everyone is told when they are going to die. Every day, at midnight, workers of an organization named Death Cast call those who are going to die within the next twenty four hours so that they have time to finish their life without any regrets. The book centers around two boys who both receive the call on the same day, Mateo and Rufus. Mateo is a sweet, nervous boy who regrets not living his life more but is too frightened to leave his room and live his last day. Rufus, on the other hand, is a rough and tough foster kid with a philosophical side. After Rufus’s funeral is interrupted by the police, he decides to search for a Last Friend online, where he meets Mateo, convincing him to actually live. The unlikely pair decides to spend their last day together and find peace in the fleeting hours they have left.

This book is very detailed and does a good job of pushing out underlying themes and questions, from the cover of the book to the smallest of interactions between the characters. It also makes you think of many deep things, such as dealing with grief, wasting your life, the hope that you still have a chance to live, and showing kindness even in the worst of times.They Both Die At The End definitely keeps you hooked. It is a very heavy book, but is very compelling. You almost don’t want to continue reading, but you have to know what happens.

Although this book has many good points, there are also some things that I find confusing or that I didn’t like. The characters were interesting, but I was sometimes frustrated with Rufus, and found him to be a bit self-righteous. He often blamed others or pointed out their shortcomings while ignoring his own. He occasionally acknowledged his mistakes, but the majority of the time he just saw when others messed up. Additionally, random characters POV’s were sometimes inserted into the book, and you had to try to search your memory for who they were. I found that a bit confusing, and it often took me a moment to remember who that character was and why they affected the plot.

In the end, I enjoyed the book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it again. It was a great one-time read, however! It was very difficult to read as it dealt with very hard topics, but it was interesting to mull over. If you have trouble reading about death and things like that, I would not suggest this book, as it is very heavy. It made me feel a bit sad at points, but also pensive. It’s an odd feeling because you feel hopeless at the inevitability of death, but also hopeful at the realization that you still have a chance to live. You are still alive, so you can change your life! At one point in the book, Mateo says “I can’t just wish for the future; I have to take risks to create it.” This isn’t the end of your story, so get out there and live!