Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

September 4, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 6 ★★

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.

They Both Die at the EndThey Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Published by HarperTeen on September 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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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.

About Adam Silvera

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

6 Responses to “Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera”

  1. Tonyalee

    Ya know, I have been curious about this one – I adored his debut, but his other book, History is all you left me, didn’t pack the emotional punch. I am on the fence if i will read this one, even though I love the concept of it and it’s one of this subjects that makes you think, ya know?

    Anyway, sucks you didn’t connect to it!

  2. Christine

    I completely understand what you mean. I liked it enough to rate it 4 stars but there was something definitely missing in the long run. I couldn’t put a finger on it or describe it exactly but I think packing a punch describes it perfectly. It kind of just was what it was. Nothing really that left me wanting to read it again. I liked Rufus and Mateo enough that I was sad about the ending and how they won’t get another day together. And I appreciated how it made me reflect on my own life but I just wasn’t blown away by it.
    Christine recently posted…Release Day Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam SilveraMy Profile

  3. Kelly @ Here's to Happy Endings

    I’ve seen like only good reviews for this book so far, but for whatever reason it just really seems like it would too darn sad for me to even want to get into. I don’t know why, but when I know a book is going to make me completely and utterly sad I just tend to avoid it. I haven’t read anything else by Adam Silvera yet, so maybe I just need to go for it. Great review!
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    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      Weirdly, it’s not overly sad. I’m an easy crier and I didn’t shed any tears which sort of surprised me. Definitely a little emotional but I think my failure to connect was part of the issue.

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