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Book Review – They Both Die at the End

By Lauren Byerly, Reporter

They Both Die at the End is a novel written by Adam Silvera and published on September 5th 2017. It has been received very well by both the public and critics alike, receiving a 4.2 star rating on Goodreads and the approval of 94% of google users who read the book. But what is it actually about, and what does the ominous title allude to?

The book details the last nights of the lives of two boys: Mateo and Rufus. However, this is not a typical death story in which they are unaware of their own impending fate. Both boys have received calls from Death-Cast, an organization which calls every single person somewhere in the 24 hour period before their death and informs them that this is their last day with the purpose of allowing them to live it to the fullest.

Mateo is the first character readers are introduced to. He is an introverted boy who spends most of his time in his apartment playing video games, reading, or going on the internet to look at blogs written by people right after they received their calls from death cast. After he receives his call he is paralyzed with fear and considers not leaving the house and merely staying inside. Despite this thought, he knows that it is impossible to attempt to avoid his fate and that this will just mean that he will die alone in his apartment rather than exploring the world for one last time. The first thing he thinks of are his closest loved ones, his father and his best friend, Lidia.

Rufus is introduced to the reader while he is beating up Peck, his ex-girlfriends new boyfriend. He receives the call midway through the fight and immediately remembers his parents and sister, who died right next to him in a car accident, leaving him bereft of any family at all. The reader learns that after this he was adopted into a foster family with two other brothers, and that he has healed and become a better person with a more positive future because of them. However, the loss of his girlfriend has taken an emotional toll on him and he has become someone who is not usually, someone who would almost kill another boy in a fight.

The two boys meet through an app called Last Friend, which matches those who have received death casts with those in the same circumstance or those who are willing to help a person through their last 24 hours of life. I don’t want to spoil their adventures together throughout New York in the remaining time in their lives, but the themes of family, love, loss, and the endurance of the human spirit are brought up often. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready for an emotional rollercoaster which will make them consider what living life to the fullest means and how many people actually fulfill their dreams and goals for their lives.

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Lauren Byerly, Reporter

Lauren Byerly is a Senior who has been a part of the International Baccalaureate Program since Freshman year. She has been involved with the Cross Country...

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Book Review – They Both Die at the End