You Might Die Crying by the End
For a book whose title does not hold anything back, They Both Die in the End manages to walk the line between mysterious and predictable. It's poignant without being depressing. It is a heart-wrenching and thought-provoking novel that deserves four stars for its captivating portrayal of teenage life, intricate exploration of grief, and imaginative world-building.
“Two dudes met. They fell in love. They lived. That's our story.”
One of the aspects I truly admired in this book was how authentically Silvera depicted the teenagers. They were flawed, they made bad choices, and they spoke with teenage vernacular, but underneath it all, they emerged as wise and inspiring individuals brimming with heart. This authenticity made their journey all the more relatable and touching.
The way the author skillfully navigated the phases of grief throughout the story was commendable. It was a raw and emotional journey that added depth to the characters and their experiences, making the narrative all the more resonant. The book asks you to consider what makes life worth living and it reminds you that no matter what, we all die at the end.
“But no matter what choices we make - solo or together - our finish line remains the same … No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”
Silvera's world-building was another standout element of the novel. I appreciated the attention to detail, from the concept of having pre-funerals to the existence of fake bucket list centers, which allowed individuals to fulfill their desires before their impending death. The Xbox Infinity was a delightful touch, adding a unique layer to the world. However, the lack of explanation regarding how Death-Cast worked was a minor drawback, leaving some unanswered questions.
One of the book's strengths was its ability to shift perspectives beyond just Rufus and Mateo. Silvera masterfully showcased how the lives of various characters in the community intersected and demonstrated the profound effects of Death-Cast on non-decker individuals. This multi-faceted perspective enriched the narrative and made the world feel more interconnected. There are some scenes where the characters intersect that I already know will transition seamlessly to Netflix's upcoming adaptation and I cannot wait.
The characters were brilliantly crafted, with all their realistic flaws and endearing qualities. It was impossible not to empathize with Rufus and Mateo as they grappled with the daunting reality of their imminent demise. Their journey was a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of seizing every moment. Although they may not have made it to the end of the book, these characters will live in my heart for a while.
“...stories can make someone immortal as long as someone else is willing to listen.”
They Both Die at the End forces readers to confront their own mortality, which might not be the most comfortable experience, but it is undeniably necessary. Adam Silvera's novel is a powerful reminder to cherish life, embrace connections, and make the most of the time we have. It's a compelling and emotional read that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a thought-provoking and heartfelt story. I hope that this story leaves you inspired to take risks and create the life you want for yourself, whatever that might be.
“There has to be more to life than just imagining a future for yourself. I can't just wish for the future; I have to take risks to create it.”