- my rating: 4 stars
- published by: HarperCollins
- genres: lgbt+, fantasy, romance, young adult
- diverse: yes
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.
Adam Silvera is one of those authors everyone needs to read, at least once. His writing style is brilliant – full of raw emotion, poignant themes and characters that not only fill the page but burst off of it. It’s impossible not to feel something reading an Adam Silvera book – his work resonates with so many people so strongly, especially in the lgbt+ community, and I have no doubt They Both Die At the End is going to hit just as hard as his previous releases.
They Both Die at The End is a roller coaster of emotions – incredibly sad, and yet unendingly hopeful. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what emotion I felt most upon finishing, there was so much sadness, lots of frustration, a little bit of happy, all mixed up together in one ugly messy ball. But I think thats how this book should be, it’s a book that makes you feel everything, and Adam Silvera is an absolute genius when it comes to writing those feelings into a book. There was so much tension building up to the finale, and so it packed a massive punch when it finally hit.
The dichotomy between Rufus and Mateo’s character, and how they approach life and death makes their dynamic very interesting. Both have brilliant character arcs, which are only developed because the two met each other. Diversity wise, the characters are also a massive plus – Mateo is gay and Puerto Rican, and Rufus is bisexual and Cuban-American.
I really enjoyed Mateo and Rufus as characters, and how they went about their last day. Both have issues and trials which they are dealing with, and the exploration of these problems, as well as their own insecurities and flaws was probably my favourite part of the book. It’s a great character study and I really cared a lot about Mateo and Rufus by the end. The only character complaint I had was about the romance, actually. Something about it just didn’t stick with me. I liked the romance enough, but I also felt like I should have liked it more. The romantic scenes didn’t really make me that emotional, and I definitely didn’t feel that invested in Mateo and Rufus as a couple – I really loved their friendship, I really loved their dynamic, I really loved what they found with eachother, I totally understand that on their last day things are going to be rushed, but it did feel really rushed to me and I struggle to get behind that in any book. I suspect this issue with the romance is a “its me, not you” issue, though.
I only really felt like I had an issue with two aspects of this book: the worldbuilding and the side characters. I would have liked a little more worldbuilding, and a little more explanation behind Death-Cast and why it suddenly started telling people when they’re going to die. I thought there was little hints things would be revealed – and when they weren’t I was disappointed. As for the side characters, I couldn’t really connect with any of them. I liked Lydia and the Plutos – but the other side characters with POV’s didn’t really make me feel anything.
However, I want to stress these flaws are so minor and really don’t detract from the book overall at all! I recommend They Both Die At the End so highly, to be honest. Mateo and Rufus are incredibly well written characters and their arcs are amazing. They Both Die at The End promises an emotional ride – theres going to be ups and downs, and many many tears, but that is what makes it so worth it.