Must Reads: They Both Die at the End

Must Reads: They Both Die at the End

Maddie Arno, CCO

Imagine you have 24 hours left to live. How would you spend your last day on Earth?

 

In the novel They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera, this is the scenario that he positis.

 

 On September 5, 2017, at 12:22 am, Matteo Torrez, 18 years old, receives a call that he is dying within the next 24 hours. This call is from Death-Cast, an organization that informs people of their “End Day.” No one knows where Death-Cast gets this information, but they have yet to be wrong. 

Around 1:05 am, Rufus Emeterio, 17 years old, receives the same call. 

These two boys, who do not know each other at all, decide their last day will not be spent alone. With little family left, they sign up for the app Last Friend. It is specifically designed to match Deckers, those that are dying that day, together. Basically, it is a Tinder for the dying. All Rufus and Matteo wanted to do on their last day was live and break out of their comfort zones. 

After being paired, they travel all around New York, visiting places for the first and last time. Unfortunately for Rufus and Matteo, all good things must come to an end, even your last good thing, and after all the farewells and grievances, the inevitable comes to pass, and the book ends. Exactly the way you knew it would be the second you read its title. But, knowing how it ends is meaningless, unless you know what it is that’s ending.  

I highly recommend this novel, especially for those in a reading slump. Every aspect of this novel can only in my eyes be described in one way: beautiful. Silvera reminds the readers that with love comes loss and with life comes death. This book shows the preciousness of life and the regrets one feels in the last moments. 

While reading this book, I still had that hope in the back of my mind that everything would end happily and the title was a lie. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. I do not usually cry reading books but the last sentence had me bawling my eyes out. It alludes back to an earlier event and it is truly heartbreaking. 

One thing I really like about this book, other than the fact that both main characters are queer and people of color, is the multiple perspectives that all end up connecting. You will read one person’s perspective and ask “Why is this here?” and then the next perspective will make you say “Oh my gosh. It was them”. Unlike many modern teen romance novels which are designed to make teens want to be a part of the story, They Both Die At The End is designed to invoke readers to reflect on their own story. The novel truly embodies the idea that the journey is more important than the destination. Because you can’t change the end but you can change how you get to it.