Everyone’s heard the old saying “Live every day like it’s your last,” but how would you live knowing it was your last day? This is the position Rufus Emeterio and Mateo Torrez find themselves in when they receive the dreaded phone calls from Death-Cast, a service that calls people to let them know they’ll be dying at some point that day. Mateo and Rufus connect through the Last Friend app, one designed to help Deckers (people who have received the Death-Cast call) find friends in their final hours. Their bond strengthens not only as they work through the hardships of premature goodbyes and impending doom, but also as they live their day to the fullest and make the most of each moment, whether that be playing on childhood playgrounds, engaging in deep conversations, or facing fears and past trauma through exciting new experiences.
I really enjoyed this book and I found it to be very well-written. The characters had distinct personalities that felt authentic and realistic. It’s especially notable how Mateo and Rufus complemented each other well and helped each other along in their character development by pushing each other out of their comfort zones and healing pain from the past. I also loved how the author included perspectives from multiple characters; it was fascinating hearing each of their opinions and thoughts on death even if they hadn’t received a Death-Cast call that day. This book also had great casual LGBTQ+ representation and some very sweet romance.
The one issue I had was how long it took for me to become fully invested in the book. It had a bit of a slow start so it took me a while to really get into it, but I was hooked when the momentum started to pick up. I found this book very thought-provoking in regards to how it discussed the value of savoring every moment in life when death always lurks just around the corner. Overall, this is a great read and I highly recommend giving it a try!
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.