Dark, Diversity, Edelweiss, Fiction, Well known books

You Know They Both Die At The End, But You Still Read It. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Oh, Adam Silvera. The King of #feels, The Ruler of #BringMeDown. Despite all the hype and excitement about receiving the review copy, I was… not a very happy camper while reading this. So, when it comes to this book as an experience, I’ve got three things to talk to you about: The Sweet, The Ugly and The Warning. 

so many feelings right now

Point 1. The Premise

The premise is pretty interesting. If you still haven’ heard, the idea of the story is that the world has this curious agency called DeathCast, and although we won’t be learning anything more about them or even how it all works, we will sure learn all about its effects on society. Basically, DeathCast calls people up on the night they die, to tell them to live a great last day – or #EndDay. These people are called Deckers. While someone might think this is a good thing, in my opinion, this is the cruelest thing ever (imagine knowing you die today??). What’s also interesting is how much this society seems fixated on death – there are whole social networks dedicated to showing the last days of deckers, movies and books written mostly just about it… Even being able to visit your own grave before you die that’s being dug out there – especially for you. Not creepy at all, right? I wouldn’t want to live in this society… it’s something of a nightmare.

Point 2. The Sweet

The main characters are adorable! I loved Mateo and Rufus. They’re well fleshed out and nice people. Mateo happens to be very afraid of death and, well, everything – so it’s pretty ironic that he gets called up at age 18 (ironic in a sad way…) Of all the people, Mateo doesn’t deserve to die, he’s such a wonderful sweetheart. But neither does Rufus. He might make his mistakes, but he’s a sweet, honest, playful person who is also much too young to go. Of course, our premise dictates that these two meet and have one last day, so there’s no way they’re getting out of this. But we do get to appreciate their one last kick before they go. Their relationship is very sweet, as well as the relationships they have with their friends. This whole book is basically just about relationships.

Point 3. The Ugly

The ugly, at least for me, was all of the pain, all of the loss. Even just the loss of time, the last moments. The ugliness of people who are petty, who won’t look past their own hurt. And it’s not just about the fact that the main characters are dying – the title of the book kind of already gives that away, so you know what you’re signing up for. But you don’t know what else you’re signing up for, cause it seems that these people have dealt with far more loss than most people have to deal with. At times, I felt like it was too much, too dark, too dense – maybe written to just intensify the colors, but overdone. Does everyone really have to have 5 dead people in their history? Everyone..? It’s not even realistic anymore, not mentioning the fact that it’s making me want to just… go and cry in the corner.

Then there are also all those questions, like is there a destiny? Do we have any free will? Or will everything we do still turn against us? And the funny thing, as it might be common with contemporaries, actually – you might guess one thing will happen, but you’ll probably be wrong. The end… the end is still worth the read. Although you kind of know what happens, and at the same time you don’t. But you know it’s going to be no less than bittersweet.

Point 4. And Finally… The Warning.

You might think you really want this book. I thought so too. But let’s try and think this through:

– are you a very sensitive person?
– have you lately been feeling blue, I don’t know, maybe even depressed?
– are you by any chance PMSing?
– did you even have even as much as a sad dream tonight?

If any of those are true, this is probably not something you should read then. If you’re still unaware of the themes by just looking at the name of the book (epic foreshadowing?), then I’ll tell you: THEY DIE. And NOT JUST THEM. There’s so much death in this book that you have no idea. I would say it’s maybe even overdone, cause pretty much anyone we meet has lost multiple people…not just that, throughout the day people keep falling like leaves off a tree. And there’s constant talk of loss – not just the loss of your life. If you can shoulder reading these themes – go for it. I found out the hard way. This book was seriously bringing me down.

If you still want to get it, you can support this blog by buying it from Book Depository. I have received a free review copy of this book through Edelweiss, and I thank HarperCollins / HarperTeen and Adam Silvera for it.

What are your thoughts on this super hyped-up book? Will you be reading it? What do you expect from it?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

37 thoughts on “You Know They Both Die At The End, But You Still Read It. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

  1. I’ll definitely be reading it, but from all the reviews I’ve read about how sad it is, I’ll be saving it for when I’m in the mood for a whole lot of sadness. Great review!

  2. Yikes, that does sound like an awful society to live in. But I think that if you lived in a society that worked like that with the end day warnings, you would in fact be constantly fixated on death. So that makes sense.

    Anyway, I won’t be reading this. I avoid books like this. I like dark books, but not ones that are written just to be sad and make you cry and are all about death and grief and loss and whatnot. Like, I can deal with a character dying, just not when that’s the whole point of the book.
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    1. Oh, do you have a new profile pic? It’s so pretty!
      Yes, you’re right – it did make sense in the book, although it was much too much to deal with 😀
      And you are absolutely right. I should have also avoided it! I just bought into the hype. Serves me right 😀

    1. Thank you! So nice to hear, because I was sad to give it a lower rating… hype! But you know, always have to be honest about your reviews.

    1. I don’t think you’d like it though. Can’t put it on the same level as The Punch Escrow no way no how 🙂 (BTW, you can send me the questions if you’ve got them, I’ll send you mine soon too!)

        1. I’m thinking maybe 7? 🙂 and definitely different ones. I make questions for you, you make questions for me. Which is the fun bit, cause I know your questions will be very different from mine, and so I’m already curious about them 🙂 so just email me when you have them! I should email you soon too, I just… had a crazy weekend.

  3. Another great review!

    I almost want to read it, but the Title Spoiler kind of turns me off, you know? Knowing the eventual outcome of a story before I begin reading takes the “Surprise!” out of reading. I’m looking over my monitor at books in my bookshelf. “The Shadow of the Wind”. “In Sunlight and In Shadow”. In these and others, I sort of knew what the endings might, or should be, but my projections forward were never a certainty. That said, the characters and the journey were as important as the final outcome, and those two things kept me reading, anticipating a fabulous climax.

    In “They Both Die…”, do the new friends spend their last 24…what, walking and talking? Getting sleepy already, I am. Could they, maybe, pull off a bank job? Plot the murder of someone they both loathe? I mean, DO something. I might have to get the book to see if it’s filled with something other than walking and talking and reminiscing about their lives. Sounds like a book for psychologists, psychiatrists, or parish priests.

    Suddenly I feel depressed. Wink.

    1. Thanks Patrick! Well, the title spoiler kind of… is part of the premise, I guess? The whole world they have hinges on the fact that they know they’re going to die, so it’s no surprise. The whole story comes from them knowing, I guess. So then the main question becomes ‘how’ instead of ‘if’.
      Yeah, it’s pretty much walking and talking, well, and some unexpected accidents. It’s one those kinds of contemporaries where you just sort of think about feelings. Well, mostly. They don’t want to pull a bank job because they might die during it 😀 (they know they’ll die, but you know. Hope dies last!)

      1. 🙂 I think I’m beginning to understand.

        Not having read the novel, only certain reviews about it, I’m approaching it dangerously, from a writer’s point of view.

        I’ve been notified that today is my last day on planet Earth. What would I do, other than go into shock for at least 12 hours? Half day wasted. As a reader I begin to formulate a plot, and that is a problem. I need to have no real preconceived expectations, only open the book and see for myself how the author tells the story he or she imagined. Is the voice engaging? Do the characters possess real life? Is there lyricism in the narrative? These three things CAN carry a book, I believe.

        You read Roth or Collins or Yancey and begin to expect unending action and drama. Suddenly, that thought in mind, you flash back to superb novels written that are “quieter”. You realize that high drama is not the only way to tell a story.

        I’ll get the book. Your review and comments have intrigued me.

        1. Haha, it’s weird – I sell the book when I don’t want to sell the book? Ha 😀 oh your curiosity! I must say though, the book has some romance, and it’s diverse romance too. Also, it’s sort of for teens. So I don’t know if you go for books like that, but I guess there will be no satisfaction for your curiosity otherwise, now will there be 😀 but if you don’t like it, blame yourself! 😀 hahahaha.

  4. Really original review format. It’s nice that you take into consideration the reader a lot for this review. I like that you mention how the darkness/sadness of this book might have actually been overdone. That’s something I don’t hear too often. At least Adam Silvera continues to live up to his name and tackles those tear-inducing themes and subjects to this day. Great review! 😀

    1. Thanks, Lashaan! There has to be a second opinion even for Silvera, I guess 😀 although I’m not expressly saying it was bad. I’m just warning that a person might be too sensitive… That’s always important to know. Yes, but you’re right, he does stick true to his name, and I guess that’s a good thing – we always know what to expect 🙂

    1. Yeah, I think I’ve learned my lesson! I’m also a wuss for super sad books. But it wasn’t bad in terms of story or writing! It’s just that… ugh, deadly sad.

  5. I haven’t read anything by Silvera before, but I’ve been warned that they are all giant wrecking balls aimed right for your feels. And they are quick little demons, too! You get punched over and over and over again. It sounds like this book did that to you, too. Perhaps to the point of numbness?

    Yes. I definitely am curious about this book. Do I think I’ll love it? No. Do I think it will mentally challenge me? Yes. My understanding is that Silvera wrote this book as a way to help a younger version of him understand that the world is finite and to stop being scared. I’m sure part of him is still that scared little boy. But I thought this book was supposed to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest! Do you think it did that for you? What did it make you consider as you read it?

    Yeah. I might need a pint of ice cream to go along with this book…
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    1. Yeah, I think you are right, and I think that’s definitely what it was intended to do! But definitely not for me 😀 inspire? Maybe it was meant to. But all it did for me was make me want to not want to love again and it kind of made me feel like everything is horrible and hopeless and life will f*ck you over either way. So you can see that I’m probably not the right audience for a book like that 😀 I take things at fave value too much, and I am too sensitive.

  6. You make a good point about all the death. I forgot to mention it in my review, but I remember thinking, “Why are there so many dead people in this book? Is it really realistic that SO MANY 18-year-olds or other really young people are dying in this city? And why does everyone have such tragic backstories full of death?”
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