Death is inevitable for everyone and it’s absolute for me today.
— Adam Silvera, They Both Die At The End
Imagine a world where a company exists just to give calls to people to inform you that today is your last day to live your life to the fullest because within the next 24 hours, you will die. No excuses, no escaping, no extensions.
That world is true for Mateo and Rufus, two healthy boys just living their lives when at midnight of September 5, 2017, they each got the most dreaded phone call anyone can ever have. But it’s not like they’re the only ones who did receive that call that day. It’s a known fact that everyone, eventually, will get a call and meet their end. They just didn’t think that it’ll be them and so soon.
As usual, Adam Silvera managed to write a heartbreaking story that not only makes you want to shelter the characters he made but also makes you rethink your life choices.
Personally, I wouldn’t know what to do, where to start, and how to feel if I was given a warning that today will be my last day on earth. We all fear death, don’t even deny it. But we also know that that’s how we’ll all go, eventually.
Some of you may think that this book’s premise is morbid (and it probably is on some level) but to me, it’s more a book about how one should learn to live every day like it’s their last one; to make everything a moment to remember; and just to appreciate everything while you still have it.
I was waiting to shed some tears because all the reviews I’ve seen of this book all said that it broke their hearts and made them cry… but I didn’t.
Which is to say I was disappointed that I didn’t cry. Especially since I was expecting it.
Sometimes a reader just wants to have a book make the cry, okay?
But that doesn’t take away the fact that I loved this book. Sure, I expected more feelings but it was true to its title: they both die at the end.
Mateo and Rufus are wonderful characters to read from. Their voices were so distinct to their personalities that you don’t have a fear of mixing them up. They’ve been through a lot of sadness and heartbreaks as individuals so to have met each other on a phone app called Last Friend was a blessing in disguise.
Since everyone receives said call on their end days, this app helps people connect with Deckers (those who will die that day), either they are one themselves or just looking out to help people get through their final day with someone because nobody wants to die alone, right?
At first I was confused at how scared Mateo is to go out of their apartment. Was he agoraphobic? Was he having anxiety? What is wrong with him is basically my thought. But after his back story was revealed, I kind of understood why he was the way he is.
As for Rufus, I loved his character from the beginning. He may have acted like the only people that mattered to him were his Plutos, but really, he’s a great guy.
To read that these two will die, was hard for me. As a reader, we don’t want our favorite characters to die! But such is life. We don’t get to choose who gets to stay and until when do we stay alive.
I’m sorry if I can’t talk comprehensively about this book. I guess it put me in this mind set that basically made me rethink my life choices. I’m happy for the characters because they resolved everything they wanted before they ended but me, as a human being still living on this earth, it got me wondering quite a lot of things.
If you want a light (not light as in happy, but light as in easy and simple) and fast read that’ll make you think deeper about life in general, this book is the book for you!
Like all other Adam Silvera books, I recommend this highly.
Just don’t expect a happy ending!
I mean, Adam Silvera is giving Lemony Snicket a run for his money with all these no happy ending books.
- Diversity. The characters (not just the main) are people of color. Bisexual and gay characters.
- Family Dynamics. Some may not have been around anymore, but their stories and role in the character developments are wonderful and very involved.
- Positive light on foster homes. I have never read a book where the foster home had a positive effect on the characters. It’s always a place causing trauma and drama for all other books. It’s like people want you to be scared of foster homes. I’m glad this book shed a different light on them.
- Inspirational. It deals with not only coping with grief but also on how to handle suicidal tendencies and depression. It was subtly done so you don’t feel like it’s being forced on you. It also makes you want to face your fears and not second doubt yourself all the time.
- Self love is important. One may go into this book hoping to focus on the love story, but I’m telling you now that the romance is basically 2nd focus on this one. It’s focused more on how you should love yourself first, forgive yourself, not to be to hard on yourself, and just basically putting yourself first because it’s your life!
- The end. Even if I was expecting the end, since it was literally titled the way it’s going to end, I still don’t approve of it nor want to accept it. To me, Mateo and Rufus are alive and happy.
Book Rating: 4 stars
I just want to share how I got a copy of this book.
You see, this was on my list of books to buy at MIBF but none of the bookstores had it when I went during the first and third day. I accepted the fact that as always, Philippines don’t get to celebrate a book’s birthday along with everyone else.
However, on the final day of MIBF, as I was watching my bookish friends’ Instagram stories, I saw one of them post a haul with THIS BOOK!
I called all the bookstores near me and asked if they had any and none of them had it. The operator told me it was only available in 3 places: Cubao, Lucky Chinatown Mall, and Tacloban.
If you’re from te Philippines, you know how far all those places are from Parañaque.
But I was desperate. The following day, I went to Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo and grabbed this copy.
I travelled a total of 5 hours (with traffic) to and from that bookstore.
Do you see my dedication (ehem desperation) for this book???