They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera is what you would expect out of a novel with this title, but offers a lot more than what readers may anticipate.
I thought this novel would be at least a little grim, perhaps even similar to Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief in the matter-of-fact way it addresses death. This book does have its sad moments, yet at the same time, it is also uplifting and hopeful and teaches readers to cherish their lives.
The premise of this book comes from a company called Death Cast. Office workers call people to inform them that it is their end day, that they will pass away in twenty-four hours or less. The book has just a subtle hint of supernatural elements, as readers may wonder how the office workers get this information– or rather– who is able to predict how and when characters in this world die.
I was on the edge of my seat as the two main characters, Rufus and Mateo, reached the end of their journey, mainly due to the title. Readers do know how the book ends but it is ultimately about the relationship between the two characters and their growth. Mateo is more cautious and careful, while Rufus first appears to be a little bit of a trouble maker. The characters do not end up being shown as just their traits: they have depth and grow and change. The two boys have underwent hardships in their lives, but their own struggles do not define them.
There are a lot of other characters in this book other than the two main protagonists that are shown in varying perspectives. I think Silvera put too many characters in the book at one point, as some may get only a few brief chapters and I was so focused on the main story. But as it turns out, all of the characters do have a role in Mateo’s and Rufus’ last day. The great writing and pacing does make up for it, though I did have a hard time keeping track of the various characters at some points.
I finished the book wanting to read more about this world. I am hoping for a sequel that answers a few of my unanswered questions.