Let’s chat about books: They Both Die At The End


Mia Bolyard

Cover for “They Both Die At The End” Art by Simon Pades and designed by Erin Fitzsimmons

They Both Die At The End is a novel set in a reality where you get a phone call on the day you die. Not knowing what time exactly or how specifically, Deckers (recipients of the Death-Cast call) have to somehow live the day to the fullest but still remain cautious with death around every corner.

Despite the title and plot making us aware of one element of the ending, author Adam Silvera still manages to keep us on the edge of our seat as we wait to see how our two protagonists meet their end.

The story is told mostly from the alternating perspectives of the characters Rufus Emeterio and Mateo Torrez. Mateo is an introverted teen who realizes he’s wasted too much of his time by hiding in his room, where Rufus is an extroverted and tough guy.

Silvera does a really good job bringing these characters to life. Both have such detailed traits and extraordinary character growth throughout the book, that it’s almost hard to believe they die. As one grows fonder and fonder of these characters, you get sadder as the page numbers dwindle down. With two characters so different from each other being united by their coming deaths, a sense of warmth envelops the reader as they the friendship flourishes above .

Not only are the two main characters, but the side characters are also very well developed. From characters close to the protagonist to characters who only show up for a few paragraphs in the book, each one was unique and interesting to read about. Even characters you didn’t get to meet in the book but heard of were recounted with such detail you could picture them with no problem.

Looking at the overall story, Silvera successfully creates a world so convincing readers will jump when their phone goes off. Silvera utilized an alternating perspective that allowed us a greater understanding of the underlying factors of the story. Sometimes it was the two main characters, sometimes the people close to the main characters. But the best were characters we’d know for one chapter that had a butterfly effect on Rufus and Mateo.

Knowing that the characters died at the end did not make the story any less interesting. In fact Silvera kept things interesting with the whole idea that they could die at any time in the book. Potential death is around every corner. How will they die? Will it be painful or over before you realize? The suspense keeps readers hooked in.

I give this a four out of five. The only reason I knock it down a score is because the ending left me in a state of shock (if you know you know) and the whole concept of a phone call alerting you of your death day makes my chest feel tight and my anxiety spikes.

If interested and have the same problem I do, then I suggest breaks of happy videos if you get too overwhelmed by the concept.

But overall, it was a really good book and the writing really draws readers in. Readers who don’t mind a bittersweet story should consider adding this to your to be read list.

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