Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unsurprisingly this was an emotional read but what impressed me the most was the incredible detail that went into the world building. I loved how this made me think and how when I finished I wanted to rush out and live my life. Absolutely brilliant.


When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.

Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…

Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me.


Do you know what, I’m not sure that title was wise. This is an absolutely brilliant book but honestly I spent pretty much the whole time afraid to get too attached to Mateo or Rufus just in case they did in fact both die at the end. I kept hoping it wouldn’t happen, that they would be the exception, there was a mix up with the names and they received the call in error or that just by finding each other they’d save each other but just in case I kept myself that little bit detached. Consequently I think it lost that emotional punch I was expecting. It is still packed full of feels and some very touching moments but I was ready for out and out devastation.

It is an incredibly well written story and I really loved both Mateo and Rufus. Both are a little bit lost in the beginning but it was so wonderful to watch them develop over the course of the story. Mateo was probably the more relatable of the two, anxious and afraid to live (or leave his bedroom) in case he does something that results in the dreaded death cast call informing him he has less than 24 hours to live, I could see elements of myself in him. Wanting to go on adventures and be brave but just too scared and needing that little push. He was also just the nicest and sweetest guy. I really wanted him getting the call to be a mistake. Rufus took a little longer to warm up to, he’s beating someone up at the story, but you can’t help but grow to love him when he helps Mateo so much and starts becoming more like him.

The relationship between them is just so sweet and funny and wow. They begin the day as complete strangers and opposites but somehow they compliment and bring out the best in each other. Rufus encourages Mateo to be brave and break out and Mateo makes Rufus kinder and better…. oh god I’m gonna cry.

Anyway, moving swiftly on, I just loved their story but what made this even better was the little glimpses into the lives of others who cross their paths. The chapters more or less alternate between Mateo and Rufus’s povs but there are these other chapters thrown in from the pov of their friends, the people who make the calls to inform people they’re going to die that day, and others who have either received their call or just bump into Rufus or Mateo in some way. These gave such an insight into the world and raised so many questions I found it fascinating.

Actually the whole world just fascinated me. What would it be like to live in a world where everyone finds out between midnight and 3am whether they’re going to die that day? What would you do if you found out it was your day to die? Would you deny it, try to fight it? Would you accept it and try to make your last hours count? Take control and decide for yourself how you’re going to die? Or what if you don’t get the call? Does that mean you can’t die no matter what you do that day? Would you take more risks? It really makes you wonder about fate, self fulfilling prophecies and whether you have any control over your destiny.

The world the author creates and the way he presents all of these issues and questions was just brilliant. Such clever writing to create a world that’s so similar but so different in terms of attitudes to life and death. I think this is a story I’ll be thinking about for a long time.

Overall an absolutely brilliant but emotional read.

20 thoughts on “Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

  1. I’m so glad this was brilliant, cos I love the concept. I can see why expecting the ending would make it lose its emotional punch though. I’m so curious about the world that he designed and it sounds really worth reading. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.

      Thinking about it now I’m wondering if it’s more about putting you in the characters shoes. They know they’re going to die and so do you. It’s up to everyone how they deal with it. Shut yourself off so you don’t get hurt, get emotionally invested to make the most of your time with them or go into denial and hope it won’t actually happen. Pretty sure I did all of the above although not in that order.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book. I can see your point about the title but for me, it didn’t take away from the emotions at the end. It is a fascinating world, and I would have loved to have learned more about how deathcast developed!

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.

      I think it was self preservation for me. If I don’t get too attached it can’t break me if the worst happens 🙂 I was still emotional at the end just not as much as I thought I would be.

      I would love to know more about the world too. How do they know who’s going to die and why did they decide to tell people?

      I also felt like a couple of the storylines were unfinished and I want to know what happens next.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m reading this currently and I keep putting it down because I know it’s going to be heartbreaking and i’m not emotionally ready for that I love the characters in this book xD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] The third and final book finished, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera was probably a bit less of a fun read but I did really love it. It’s one of those books I bought when it first came out but kept putting off because it didn’t feel like the right time. It ended up fitting a challenge though (orange cover) so it gave me the push I needed to brave it. The title does suggest it may not have the happiest of endings but I kept hoping throughout that it was wrong. I absolutely adored MC Mateo and wanted him to have a happily ever after. I’m not saying what does happen but yep this book pretty much broke my heart. My review went up on Sunday and you can find it here. […]


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