They both die at the end

Adam Silvera

As we get to know Rufus and Mateo, the story's two main characters, we come face to face with existential questions. Here is my review of They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera.

Mathieu CéralineMathieu Céraline March 22, 2018

Okay, how do I book a blog again? Sorry I haven't done it in such a long time I almost forgot how to. Also, I know that this book was a 2017 release and that I'm probably the last person on Earth to read it but, I don't care. Here, I will confess all my love for Adam's Silvera's They Both Die At The End. And, if you have read this book already or plan to read it, I would greatly appreciate it for you to do the same in the comments!

What does life mean to you? As we get to know Rufus and Mateo, the two main characters of the story, we come face to face with existential questions. Here is my review of They Both Die at The End, by Adam Silvera.

« Maybe it’s better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs. » — Rufus


In the future, people are warned that they are going to die approximately 24 hours before doing so. As Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio, two teen boys who don't know each other, both receive 'the call' from Death-Cast, the two boys decide to go on an adventure, the last one.

Spoiler alert: They both die at the end

Have you ever read a book like this: that starts with the end? Despite what most non-readers could think, knowing a book's ending doesn't make it less interesting. Actually it makes the experience of reading more interesting. How should I feel about the characters of the story? I'm tempted to picture them defeating fate and living happily ever after but if it did the book would turn out to be deceptive (false advertising). In reverse, I can't really connect and fall in love with characters knowing that I will evidently lose them on the last page.

« I doubt the world is in the mood for a miracle, so we know not to expect a happily-ever-after. I only care about the endings we lived through today. Like how I stopped being someone afraid of the world and the people in it. » — Rufus

Character description & World Building

Another spoiler alert: it's a love story. As I was ranting quite a lot last time about the representation of minorities in books and movies in my review of the Black Panther movie, I was rather glad to read this story portraying a love story between two bi guys. For once in a book, it doesn't appear forced or weird or disturbing for other communities. The two characters are amazingly well described and you will fall in love with them quicker than they will fall in love in the story.

24 hour rule

Now we arrive at the tricky part of the story, the 24-hour rule.

This is the foundation of the adventure Adam Silvera takes us into we wake up to a call from Death-Cast around 1 am and we follow the characters to their inevitable end. But, if it is part of what makes the story interesting and original, it is also what contributes to its downfall. As @thebookwormofnotredame explains it very well in her own review of the book  (which helped me build my opinion), everything is happening way too fast. In twenty-four hours and 384 pages, we have to discover characters, see them meet, get to know each other, and fall in love. As a result, if the story is beautiful it appears to be rather shallow.

« My Last Message would be to find your people. And to treat each day like a lifetime. » — Rufus

I would have liked to know more about the characters and to know more about the universe. Like the whole Death-Cast alert thing is quite weirding me out. How can Deathcast predict death? And, more importantly: what are the consequences of it in the rest of the world? Does it bring violence rates down or in the contrary is it the reason why people jump into dangerous/deadly situations in the first place?

I would have loved to know more about all of that.

In conclusion

Despite everything, I would strongly recommend you to read this book. It made me feel so much and maybe even cry a little (but don't tell anyone!). I listened to the audiobook while reading the e-book and let me tell you that it made the experience even better (If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you to try out the audiobook).  As a result I would give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

As it was the first book I read by this author, 'They Both Die At The End' definitely convinced me of Adam Silvera's talent at writing great stories and depicting amazing characters. Now, I can't wait to read History is all you left me which I heard is even better!

Let's chat

What about you, have you read 'They Both Die At The End'? Come tell me your opinion about it in the comments!

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