I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on September 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ
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On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.
They Both Die at the End has a brilliant concept adding a touch of sci-fi to a contemporary novel. On the day of your death you receive a call from a place called Death-Cast to inform you of your impending doom in the hours to come. You don’t know how or the exact time but only that it is a given and unavoidable. They are all sorts of services designed for the ‘Deckers’ as they are called, like a Last Friend app if you are in need of companionship on your last day as well as places that provide virtual reality type activities for some last minute excitement and thrills. And in They Both Die at the End we follow two very different boys who received the call, how they bonded with each other, and all their adventures on their last day.
Overall I loved the concept and how unique it was. It’s what attracted me to the story in the first place. However, I feel like it fell flat somewhere in the middle. I had a hard time connecting to either character or understanding any of the side characters we meet along the way as well. I honestly felt very little emotion from those about to die and those close to the people awaiting their death. Yes there were sadness and anger but for some reason it didn’t feel authentic to me or pack the punch I wanted. There was a lot of following the characters around to multiple places and it dragged and failed to hold my interest. Some scenes felt pointless to me and offered very little to the overall plot and character development. But I must say I did enjoy the last few chapters and how everything came together and ended.
I think it’s quite possible that my issues with this book could be classified as ‘it’s me not you’. I have seen quite a few positive reviews from others but it just wasn’t anything I could get into.