Thursday, 7 December 2017

They Both Die at the End - Adam Silvera

'How often do you find yourself on train that's having a blackout with an eighteen-year old kid and his Lego house as he's on his way to the cemetery to visit his mother's headstone? Exactly. That's Instagram-worthy.'


This is the latest book I've finished so now I'm actually on track with these! Hooray! I guess you should expect mostly radio silence from me for the next week and a little (read: until my exams are done). This was another high-quality audiobook because I can actually make time for those while walking to uni and back.

The book was a heart-wrenching story, seriously. You'd think that with a title like They Both Die at the End, you'd be prepared for, well, the two main characters both dying. Well, you'd be wrong - I was not prepared for it in the slightest.

Anyway, in They Both Die at the End Mateo and Rufus both get the call from Death-Cast that they are going to die that day. They both find themselves in need of someone to spend their last day with and meet through the Last Friend app. Together, they set off to have a lifetime of friendship and adventures in one day.

Like I said, this book was terribly heart-wrenching, and I was absolutely totally not crying by the end of it. It was wonderful and real and awful and I really enjoyed it even when I knew how it was all going to end. If I had to mark it down for something, it would be for the suddenness of the ending... then again, what else can you do, when the ending is like that? Thankfully, this book wasn't a cop-out like, say, Everything, Everything by Nikola Yoon and actually followed through on its premise.

Mateo and Rufus were both very strong characters with their own voices, and their friendship was really precious and believable. They also came from different backgrounds both culturally and societally, and through them the book got to deal with varying issues that teenagers have to face. Rufus has lived a life you can look back to with happiness even if he doesn't want to die, while Mateo has played it safe and passed opportunities, only to find himself on the list of the dying anyway.

'We can get a handshake going when we meet, but until then I promise to be the Mario to your Luigi. Except I won't hog the spotlight. Where shall we meet?'

There were also many side plots in this book that expored the other ways in which Death-Cast would influence the world: What if a famous celebrity died? What is it like to work for the company? What if you weren't sure if the call you got was real? What if you thought you were invincible, just because you weren't called? Some of them are not as fleshed out as others, but they served to make the universe as a whole much more interesting. The book is structured so that it names the character from whose point of view each chapter is from and then the time, so that you know how long they have left, tops. That worked quite well, in my opinion.

I took a look at the other works of Adam Silvera, History is All You Left Me and More Happy Than Not, and they both seem... depressing, also. I might need to wait for a while before giving them a read, since I haven't gotten over this one yet. But I will read them too, one day!

Next up, when it comes to audiobooks, you can expect me to review The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, which I started after finishing this one. With my Mandarin Chinese studies and all that, I'm trying to get a feel of the culture, literature and anything else about China. It's been pretty good so far.   

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