You know, for a book with They Both Die at the End as its title, you’d think that I’d be better prepared for the ending, but NO. Nothing can prepare you for this book. Nothing.
This book absolutely devastated me. Now, for those of you who are familiar with Adam Silvera’s work you might be thinking, “well, DUH! What did you think was going to happen? It’s an Adam Silvera book!” but this was my first experience with the author and as much as this book hurt, I’ll absolutely be continuing on to read his other works!
So the general premise of They Both Die at the End is that on the day of your death, you are alerted by a company called Death Cast so that you can get your affairs in order, visit family, enjoy your last day or however else you’d like to spend your last day alive. You can die at any time of the day, and by any method – so in theory you could die from a stress induced heart attack upon hearing the official news that you’re going to die, or you could die in your sleep at 23:59:59 right at the end of the day, or any unlimited number of ways and times in between.
Now, in order to get the most enjoyment out of this story, you kinda have to turn the logic part of your brain off. For example: what if Mateo chose to ignore the call? Would he have died? He wouldn’t have signed up, meaning he wouldn’t have tried Last Friend or met Rufus and had the events that ended up leading to his death. There’s also no explanation of how Death Cast works – it would have been nice, but we don’t strictly need it. So if you can ignore thoughts like that, you can get on with, and enjoy, the book.
“I jump into bed with the kind of relief you only fin when you’re waking up for school and realise it’s Saturday.”
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how meta it was at times, mentioning enjoying stories where you know the characters will die at the end, and even including real life things too! For example, on page 26 it mentions that NASA recorded the magnetic sounds of the planets in our solar system and released them. I called bullshit but went and did some research and it’s actually a real thing! Here’s a YouTube video featuring them all!
Also, they mention that one of the characters has an Instagram account and give you the handle and it exists in real life! Check it out here!
The story went to some pretty dark places, and many seemed so likely to actually happen if Death Cast became a real thing it got quite disturbing. For example, there was an app in the story’s world called Necro, which was for people to hook up and fuck one last time before they die. I genuinely believe that would happen!
But there were also other dark moments like when Rufus and Mateo find their own graves whilst they are still alive. Mateo even gets in his own grave!
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there were some genuinely funny moments peppered throughout the book! Depth and comedy combine really well throughout the book!
“ “Set up a CountDowners profile,” Mateo suggests. “I’ve followed enough stories online and I can help you navigate it.”
I bet he can. Going by that logic, I’ve watched enough porn to make me a sex god.”
There are also some really great lessons to be learned too, the strongest one is that a little kindness goes a long way.
They Both Die at the End is a really easy read despite its subject matter. I absolutely sped through it, I just couldn’t put it down. This was mostly due to the amazing characters – even the minor ones shone brightly! I think the really special thing about them is that they are relatable. Even if you can’t relate to them yourself, you can relate them to people you know in your life.
Now there is a romance here, and whilst I didn’t see it developing in the beginning I’m SO happy that it happened – especially because it happened so genuinely!
I was a little frustrated by Mateo’s death. Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean that I’m annoyed that he died, after all – they both die at the end – I’m annoyed at how he died – it just seemed so out of character. But I’m chocking it up to him being really relaxed, half asleep and sleep deprived and not really thinking. That’s the only way I can get through it.
I thought about this book for days after I finished it. Immediately after finishing it I was crying – I so rarely cry. And these weren’t easy tears, these were chest heaving, hitched breath-taking tears that my boyfriend had to hug me and calm me down for.
It’s a sad book, but it’s a great one! I can’t wait to get hold of Silvera’s other books!
Do you want to put your emotions to the test? You can buy They Both Die at the End here!
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.