'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Review: They Both Die at the End

I had to think twice before reading this book. Both the title and the blurb had me feeling a little unsure. But. This is a story oozing with tenderness and humanity set in modern day New York, with a remarkable alternate reality. The existence of the Death Cast whose heralds call people to inform them they have 24 hours to live and are now referred to as Deckers.

Mateo and Rufus, aged 18 and 17 have never met. They're complete opposites who have just learned they are Deckers. Shattered and numb, they connect through an app called Last Friend, and spend their last day together. Told through alternating point of view chapters we follow  the teens on their eventful last day.

Mateo and Rufus have completely different personas and values, from Rufus's painful past and foster care brotherhood, to isolated Mateo's selfless, kind and fearful tendencies. They manage to work together to achieve certain wishes and bring out the best in one another.

Without a doubt, I knew what was going to happen in the end, and the closer it got, the faster I tried to read.

What makes this book so wonderful is the tone and delivery of the narrative. There's lots of lighter moments, wonderful dialogue and language and the reader is taken on an amazing ride with these two teens. Although the title suggests a dark-ish read, it's also a story of hope and growth and reflection and love.

Breaking the story up a little by weaving in other characters, Silvera links their narratives with the protagonists in a six-degrees-of-separation scenario that works brilliantly.

This is a clever, poignant, sad and heartwarming book that will appeal to mature teens and inspire them to be the best person they can be.

Title: They Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471166204
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction