Tuesday, 8 May 2018

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera | Book Review

Book: They Both Die at the End

Authors: Adam Silvera

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 368 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased from Chapters

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.

So first of all, yes I read the title. Yes, I understood what I was getting myself into my starting this book. No, I was not prepared for how attached I got to these characters and how  emotional I would be when they died. I don't know why, though, as I cry at a good meal, so it should have been no surprise to me as to why I found myself in tears.

This was the first book by Adam Silvera that I had read, and now I get the hype. They Both Die at the End came with a truly unique reading experience. The concept of DeathCast, or life before DeathCast was never really explained, but I loved the mystery of it. I was happy to just be dropped into this world, ready to hit the ground running. Since everything happens in such a short period of time, and because there is this weird, death corporation ready to call you at any moment, I found my belief was easily suspended, I could focus on these characters, and the lives they were leading.

The one thing that threw me off quite a bit were the different perspectives. I'm not usually a fan of multi perspective novels that have more than 2 characters narrating, and the jumping in of different people kind of gave me whiplash. I wasn't a huge fan of the jumping back and forth. The story about the journalist was interesting, but ultimately, I didn't think it fit. I kind of want a book all about her, but everytime the narration cut to someone else, I was just counting the pages until I could get back to Mateo and Rufus.

I want to be best friends with these boys. Like, I want to hang out with them and watch movies and order pizza. That's how real they are in my mind. Rufus' loyalty, and Mateo's need to leave the world better than he found it really plucked my heartstrings, and their love for one another was so organic, even with the time frame.

After reading this, I want to sit down with Adam Silvera and just talk about the politics and limitations of this world, because I found myself asking so many questions. There are a few comments about Deckers who find out they're going to die, and then they commit suicide. But my question is, would they have committed it if they hadn't got the call? In what ways is DeathCast predicting the effect that they have on society, and how they, as a corporation, could possibly be the cause of these deaths? I don't want to spoil anything, but it seems that DeathCast is the cause of a lot of these deaths, and by being aware of the fact that they could die is what is causing them to do just that. It's so complicated, and cool, and I might have had a bit of an existential crisis while reading it. But who's to say?

Overall, if Adam's other work is like this one, I will definitely be picking up more. While I found some issues with narrative styles, it was fast paced, and filled with characters that seem more real than not. I am really glad I read it.
4.5/5 stars.

Happy Reading!

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