They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
What would you do if you were told that you will die an untimely death in the next 24 hours? Would you say goodbye to your family and friends? Or do things that you always wanted to do?
Adam Silvera explores all the questions, regrets and perspectives in this book.
I found this book from the hype online. I was hooked in once I read the synopsis. I have never come across such a concept in Young Adult books before. It drew me in, and I’m really glad I picked it up.
Rufus and Mateo receive the fated call a little after midnight on September 5th. They will be dying at some point within the next 24 hours. They are now “Deckers”.
In the first part of the book, we explore the chaos of their minds. Each of them freaks out, rightly so, and copes with the news in different ways.
Mateo regrets everything that he did not do. He always isolated himself and preferred his room to the outside world, and hence he hasn’t done much. I really liked the way regrets were shown through Mateo. The book was subtly thoughtful because while reading it, I started thinking about what I would do in that situation.
Rufus wants to spend the day with his foster family—The Plutos—and his ex-girlfriend. He goes through memories, regrets bad decisions and focuses on getting through the day one step at a time. With The Plutos, he had a support system.
But when things do not go as he wanted, Rufus is suddenly on the run from the police. And he is alone on his End Day.
Since Rufus and Mateo are both alone and are looking to spend their End Day with someone, they log onto The Last Friend app. This app, targeted towards Deckers, helps them find someone to spend their last day with. After some initial weird messages from other random people, Rufus and Mateo end up becoming Last Friends.
Their friendship was simultaneously endearing and heartbreaking to read. These two boys go around fulfilling some bucket list goals, make moments and try to come to peace with their fate.
Their journey was beautiful to watch. Rufus and Mateo grow as the day goes on. They ponder about life, their pasts, and what futures they might have had.
The characters of the book are perfect for the plot. The characters are a major plus. I loved Rufus and Mateo. They are two very different people who are perfect for each other on their End Day.
Rufus has a “get on with it” attitude. He doesn’t dwell on things and focuses on moving on. He’s emotionally stronger, compared to Mateo, and accepts his fate pretty quickly. He frequently takes pictures and posts them on Instagram, immortalizing his experiences. Capturing moments is his thing.
The best part about Rufus is his character development. I saw him change throughout the day, for the better. I may not have particularly liked him at the beginning but he won me over as the book went on.
Mateo is the complete opposite of Rufus. He is an introvert, hasn’t had many experiences in life and keeps to his small circle of loved ones. His goal of the day is to have some experiences—to not go without having done anything. The main characteristic of Mateo is his goodness. In Rufus’s own words, Mateo is too good. Mateo buries dead birds and cares about everyone, whether he knows them or not.
Mateo’s character development is captivating. I found myself completely delving into the book during his chapters. He wants to have a good time in the outside world, and Rufus helps with that. In fact, both of them help each other a lot and it is nice to watch.
Other than Rufus and Mateo, the book also shows us other characters’ perspectives. Most of these other characters are there to give us a glimpse into the lives of non-Deckers or the mindset of other Deckers. Because they are mostly present only for a few pages, I did not care about them. It was more of a nuisance because they interrupt the flow we have going with Rufus and Mateo.
Speaking of the flow, I found the ending written very well. I liked that the book ended abruptly, as you would expect when the character dies. It drives in the fact that after a moment, there’s no more.
The book made me think about repercussions and how one event leads to another. Death-Cast told Rufus and Mateo that they’ll be dying, earlier in the day. This was before they met. Did meeting each other change the way they died? Or was it all written in fate? You can go in circles, thinking about this.
I also spent a lot of time considering how the world would be like if we actually had Death-Cast. It would change things drastically. It’s a very different world, of which we saw only a little bit through the book.
Overall, this is the book to pick up if you’re looking for a Young Adult book which will make you think. I did not expect this, but I like how it turned out to be. It was so good that at some points, some sentences really grab you. I usually don’t annotate books but I HAD to pick up a pencil and underline whatever made an impact on me. This book will definitely make you think about the life you lead.
Happy Reading !!
31st January 2019