The title of the novel gives away the ending of the novel. It is a rather bold move for the writer to give away the ending even before the book starts and yet expect the readers to read on. But the book delivers on the confidence it bestows in the beginning. The characters do die at the end. However the fact that the people know the ending provokes them to read further on.
It would without a doubt be one of the best usages of a bullet in your reading list for the year. If you are still skeptical about the choice, give the review below a shot. You are sure to change your perspective then.
About the Story
Adam Silvera’s novel, THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END, is set in an alternate reality that is quite similar to ours but for one crucial existential change: A firm named Death-Cast somehow knows all the people who are to die on a particular day (not when or how though) and informs each of them, individuals, sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Mateo, an introverted New York teen received his call from New York Death-Cast at 12:22 on 5 September 2017, and he even received the company’s unique ring, so you knew there was no doubt that it was the Death-Cast. It’s horrific timing, since Mateo, an 18-year-old boy whose father had been in a coma state for quite some time now ( and his mother had died during childbirth). This means that there truly is no one here to say farewell to or support him on his last day other than Mateo’s best friend, his single mother Lidia.
On another side of New York, Rufus Emeterio, a 17-year-old foster child, first missed his call to death, as he was too busy beating a fresh lover of his former girlfriend. Rufus gets the call and desires to spend the day with his foster family (his own family had died in an accident just a few months back).
The two “Deckers” (what is a popularly used term to refer to who has been notified) end up getting to know each other through an app named “Last Friend,” where people who get notified from death-cast spend the last day with each other. The two boys meet there and help each other make their last day memorable.
This book is quite fascinating and innovative. The concept of a society in which individuals are informed that it is their last day must have been tough to deal with. It is easy to grow complex too fast for this type of design, but this problem did not arise with this particular book. I liked this book immensely and found that I couldn’t put it down. I was always at the apex of concern and concentration, concerned as to what might happen to one of the key characters. I also was impressed by their travels and by the characters’ exploration before their last day.
The book also reveals numerous characteristic views and how each decision that is taken, influences the life of another person directly and dramatically. I considered it smart how everyone was interconnected even if some people were very alien with all the varied viewpoints of each character.
I got emotionally engaged with both the characters and, while I know what would be happening in the end, I found myself still rooting up for a happy conclusion. The development of the characters has been played out so neatly and intricately. The writer did a great job in building the characters recognizable and relatable to the young adult readers. It made me reflect on how I live my life every day. The book shows that in one day you may live a life, count every minute, take nothing for granted.
Adam’s typeface is, as always, marvelous. His youngsters always talk as they are supposed to – there are times when the character of Rufus says the “mad” absolutely right number of times and totally realistically. His gift for dark humor was brilliantly shown in this book and he strikes the perfect mix between depth and humor. On the final day of the two boys’ lives, I didn’t realize that it was possible to laugh so much, but it did happen.
Both our key characters I truly adored. If I could, I would have defended Mateo with my own life. Mateo is simply the sweetest. Unlike other literary characters I read earlier, the manner his anxiousness is expressed is distinct and I liked witnessing him battle his anxieties and grip over his invading thoughts. Rufus on the outside appears quite tough and harsh, yet in fact, he is a really caring and unselfish person. In fact, I might have fallen hard for Rufus because of the contrast that exists between a traumatic youngster and the guy who wants to sacrifice all that he loves. The characters are the finest complements to each other – Rufus and Mateo. The characters are each beautifully created.
What I liked the most about the book is the thorough detailing that it offers. If we were to know when we were to die, a lot of things would be different. The society we live in today would change a lot as well. The book holds up all such entry cases with brilliant efficiency.
I was left crying with a handful of Wet wipes once the book was over. I felt rather startled, as Mateo and Rufus actually did die at the conclusion of the novel. This book is full of honest feelings that are to inevitably make you laugh and weep at the same time and take your emotions on a roller coaster ride but in the greatest possible manner.
It is to a young adult audience that I suggest this book because of its relatability, its emotions, and its straight from and towards heart attitude. However, the book does include violence and shadiness here and there so the audience should be limited to an age range of the YA audience. If you want to read this magnificent book, go ahead! Although, make sure you have a bunch of tissues before you start reading.