adam silvera · book reviews · lgbt · they both die at the end · ya · young adult

ARC Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

theybothdieattheend

“When someone puts their journey out there for you to watch, you pay attention – even if you know they’ll die at the end.”
Thank you very much to Simon & Schuster for providing a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

I think we all know what to expect from a book entitled They Both Die at the End; nevertheless, reading the actual novel was an anxious experience: my eyes were glued to every page, waiting for the ball to drop, for something terrifying to happen. You expect the book to be sad, to be heartbreaking and depressing. What you don’t expect is to smile, to laugh, and to fall in love – to feel such happiness, even amidst such pain. When a novel brings out these intense, warring emotions within you, that’s when you know you are reading an Adam Silvera novel.

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When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day; it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.
Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.
Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…
Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me.

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They Both Die at the End, despite being a slightly morbid novel, is also an incredibly important one. The message the novel promotes is something that will relate to readers of all ages, but will undoubtedly stick with the young. It’s a book about living life to the fullest, which isn’t an especially unique sentiment – it’s rather something you would see on a cat poster or read in a self-help book – but Silvera’s distinctive twist on the adage is what makes his novel so powerful.

Imagine receiving a call at midnight telling you that you are going to die today. You are not told the specifics: you don’t know what time, how, or even who by – all you know is that today is your last day. Many of you will be angry and sad and hurt – and many more of us will feel guilty for a life unspent. We all have our insecurities and fears; Silvera’s novel tries to teach us to push past the fear and become the person we were always meant to be.

That being said, the novel doesn’t just tell you to go out there and put yourself in uncomfortable positions, it shows you through the power of friendship and family and making your own family, the ways in which we can live, not just survive.

Mateo is the character who is just trying to survive: he spends his days trapped in his apartment with his single father (who is currently in a coma), and only ventures out to see his best friend and her baby girl. Mateo is frightened of the outside world, although he’s not agoraphobic; more, he is afraid of putting himself out there for fear of being humiliated or rejected. It’s something we can all empathise with.

Rufus, on the other hand, is an angry boy, still reeling from the loss of his entire family months ago, and the recent breakup with his girlfriend. When we meet him, he is beating up his girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Unlike Mateo, Rufus is not scared: he wants to spend his Last Day with no fear, experiencing anything and everything he possibly can before he goes. I think we would all benefit from a Rufus in our lives.

Silvera’s writing, as always, is beautiful and haunting and makes you feel. Although I didn’t cry as much as I did when I read More Happy Than NotThey Both Die at the End will weigh on you for days. The plot is slow-paced, more concerned with character development, but the pieces gradually come together as the reader watches in horrid fascination, helpless to prevent what they know will come to fruition.

While reading They Both Die at the End, I had this lyric from Hamilton in my head: “Death doesn’t discriminate / Between the sinners / And the saints / It takes and it takes and it takes.” It’s an sorrowful statement, but it’s also remarkably true, and I think it’s also a statement that is at the heart of this novel: death takes and it’s unfair at times, but at the end of the day we can’t escape it, so must try to live instead.

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5 stars
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
They Both Die at the End is set for publication on September 7, 2017. 
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25 thoughts on “ARC Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

  1. 1) I LOVE YOUR REVIEWS SO MUCH AGH ❤ and 2) you’re a Hamilfan??? I probably knew this but forgot but STILL OMG WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER???

    I read History is All You Left Me and got stuck with the unpopular opinion. I have More Happy Than Not rn and I hope I’ll enjoy it more! I’m really excited to read TBDATE (omg that actually works out 😂) because THEY KNOW WHEN THEY’RE GOING TO DIE OMG MY STYLE. But I’m also very hesitant because they only have a DAY and they fall in love??? Insta-love??? I really hope not.

    Anyways, love this review, Laura! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you May!
      Ummmm yes, of course I’m a Hamilton fan!! I haven’t seen the production because I live in Australia but I have the soundtrack and I listen to it all the time!
      Lol my favourite character is Burr. Who’s yours?!

      I haven’t read History is all you left me yet, but I’ve heard good things. You didn’t like it?
      Ok More Happy Than Not is slow until like 250 something pages and then it will BLOW YOUR MIND. Seriously I was bored and considered DNF’ing but then it got crazy amazing. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

      Lol I figured out that acronym too – what a coincidence 😂. It’s not Insta-love per say – they development of their relationship is very natural and they change each other in good ways. I can’t say much without spoiling!!

      Thanks again May! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t seen Hamilton yet — but I know some people who have! *gets jealous again* 😂 LAFAYETTE IS BAEEEEEE. ❤

        The majority of people who read HIAYLM enjoyed it! But it was a "me" problem haha.

        Ooh, thanks for letting me know! I hope I like it too. :3

        Ah, okay, good to know! Insta-love is something I just CANNOT look past for the life of me. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lafayette is awesome, but I love how the actor plays Jefferson too!!
        Ah ok, fair enough, we don’t all have a connection with a book.
        Yeah, I hate instal-love too. Major deal breaker for me. I don’t think it was the case here 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful book. This sounds like a thought-provoking read.Just reading your review made me think about what I would do if I received such a all. I like the sound of the character development in this one.Definitely one for my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not particularly interested in this novel, or at least, wasn’t until I’ve read your review. Seeing as the author does give a very unique touch to an otherwise beaten-up mantra (which seems to have lost its actual meaning), I think i might actually enjoy this one 🙂
    I like that it’s not depressing or sad despite the subject matter, because I avoid those kinds of narratives like the plague hahaha
    Wonderful review, Laura! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh thank you Sophie!! You’re so sweet! I hope you give this book a chance, or borrow it from the library or something. It’s a quick read, and while it does have some heavy content – it’s about death, after all – it’s still quite light and funny. Without spoiling anything, it does get very sad at one point, so keep that in mind if you don’t like sad books! (Also, don’t read More Happy Than Not, I cried non-stop through that novel – tearing up now just thinking about it).
      Thanks again Sophie!! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read quite a few books about death that were quite humorous, but never delved too deep into the subject I think. We’ll see!
        Oh thank you for warning me! Yeah, I’m skipping that one for sure xD
        You’re very welcome! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is! Oh yes, I definitely recommend More Happy Than Not first – it gives a sense of what his other work is like. The book is slow, but then something happens and you’ll be freaking out. It’s amazing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m SO excited for this one. History is All You Left Me broke my heart and is one of my all-time favourite YA books so I’m really, really looking forward to reading this one. I’m glad to see you loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear you liked History is all you left me! I’ll be reading that sometime in August and I can’t wait – it’s the only one of Silvera’s books I haven’t read yet! I think you’ll really like TBDATE 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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