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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.
Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review
Imagine if you knew exactly when you were going to die. How would you react? Would you whip out your bucket list to fulfill every wish possible or would you try to fight the inevitable? Those are the questions Mateo and Rufus suddenly have to answer with when they're unexpectedly faced with their own mortality.
Folks, I was fully prepared for waterworks because it's Adam Silvera and his books tend to make me weepy. I didn't this time but that doesn't mean this book is any less gripping than his others. It's simply that the tone of this book is such that it seems crying is wasting valuable minutes and seconds. Once these two guys receive that dreaded phone call informing them of their fate, it's time to get down to business and settle matters. Matteo and Rufus are two different personalities: where Matteo is deliberate and thoughtful and nervous about rocking the boat, Rufus is somewhat fearless. Not wanting to be alone in their final hours, they find each other on the social app Last Friend, the idea of which is all sorts of creepy by the way, but also no more creepy than DeathCast informing you of your impending death, but I digress. They meet up and after the first couple of hours of that getting to know you awkwardness, they do get on well and even encourage each other to push outside their limits, to make the most of what precious time they have left.
There are supporting characters who have short chapters within the story who help deliver some context to both Matteo and Rufus' narratives, and also this strange world where DeathCast exists. Truth be told, I was hoping for some explanation as to how that entity came about but that doesn't happen and ultimately, it's not the focus of the story (though I still wonder if they merely predict the course of events or set them in motion by their phone call). The point is how you live the remainder of your life knowing that that's it. In Matteo's case, it could mean he finally becomes the person he's always wanted to be. For Rufus it could mean that he finally addresses his emotions. Even with the sadness surrounding them there are moments of pure joy and that sense of freedom.
They Both Die At The End is a wonder of a book. Silvera is such a creative and out-of-the-box writer, and how he executes his ideas is what blows my mind. He's a genuine storyteller, pulling you in so that you're a part of it not just a mere spectator. Crazy thing is that while I knew the eventual outcome here, I still wasn't ready for the ending. It left me speechless.