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★★★☆☆ 3 stars
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.
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 blog about books that made an impression on me. I love middle grade, women’s, scifi and some literary too.