Thursday, 31 August 2017

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

I don't know how I can ever let myself feel emotions after this. Normally when I know a book will make me sad I try to embrace the emotionless void - to save myself the hurt (and from having others see my cry - acquaintances/strangers on the train don't need to see that). But I just couldn't do it. I sobbed with abandon because I couldn't stop myself from becoming deeply attached to this story.

They Both Die at the End is told from the alternating first person perspectives of two boys, both informed that they are going to die today. Knowing nothing about one another, Rufus and Mateo help one another out of their shells and encourage each other to live their final day to the fullest.

This book is all about the characters. Their personalities are so different and it comes through strongly in their voices. Often multiple perspective books can go wrong because it's hard to tell the characters apart, but that wasn't the case here. They were instantly distinct and I found them genuinely relatable. Mateo and Rufus felt like real teenagers with lives I could picture vividly. They had real problems and anxieties and interacted with the world and technology in a way real teenagers would, and I'm glad I got to fall in love with them and their relationships.

"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."

The book is also about a bunch of small and beautiful things:

  • It's about coming out of your shell, but not dramatically. You can be brave in small ways and can still find fulfilment in them.
  • It's about small kindnesses for the sake of being kind. Being a selfless and good person regardless of karma or reward.
  • It's about everything in life being connected together in small ways. A single interaction can cause a whole chain of reactions, and every person you pass is someone of value.
"My Last Message would be to find your people. And to treat each day like a lifetime."

Reading this book comes with a simultaneous happiness and heart ache. I reached the final segment shaking, my whole existence croaking sounds of 'no'. I had no idea how things would end, but I finished the book with a sense of completion knowing that, live or die, it ended right.

This is by no means a light book, but there is so much light that shines through it. Full of captivating characters and small, beautiful things, They Both Die at the End is an enchanting story of love and life that I hope everyone gets the chance to have their heart broken by.

An ebook copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.


YA Contemporary


Protagonist who is Puerto Rican and gay, and protagonist who is Cuban and bisexual

death, parent in coma, hospitals, physical violence, drowning, burning, car accident, death of family members, death of animal, discussion of suicide, attempted suicide, explosives, guns

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