WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
“No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”
– Adam Silvera, They Both Die at the End
I have been picking up a lot of young adult books recently and to be honest, I am liking the change. I am not a hard-core YA fan but there are certain books that deserve the popularity that they get.
One such book that I read recently was Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End.
To know about my thoughts on this book, please continue reading.
What to expect?
They Both Die at the End is a YA which revolves around a rather serious issue – death. The book is not as entertaining as it sounds but it does promise an emotional read; a read that will get you thinking about your own priorities in life.
What is the story like?
It is the midnight on September 5th when two strangers receive the Death Cast call. Mateo and Rufus don’t know each other and probably don’t have anything in common but there is just one thing that binds them together – they both will be dying today. That is what the Death Cast service tells them.
But before they die, they both want to live and here is when an app comes into picture. The Last Friend is an app that is meant for Deckers (as they are called) to connect with each other and make their one last friend. Mateo and Rufus meet, and together, live their entire life on this one last day.
How good are the characters?
They Both Die at the End mostly has only two main characters worth talking about – Mateo and Rufus. The book is about them and they definitely manage to steal the show.
Though a few other characters are well written too, it will be unfair to talk about them when there is so much to talk about Mateo and Rufus.
Mateo and Rufus come from entirely different backgrounds. One is a street kid whose circumstances have made him choose the kind of street life, the other wouldn’t ever have dreamed of. It is this striking contrast of their personalities that amuses me as a reader.
Mateo and Rufus have had their fair share of tragedies as well. They both are broken and yet they want to live. They want to live and experience the world in the way most people get to.
But sadly the one ultimate truth of their lives (death) will make them reach out and experience everything on their last day.
They are the characters that make you think, ponder over your life and rethink about important things like priorities, happiness, friendships, relationships etc.
Let’s talk about the author’s writing style
There is no denying the novelty and appeal of such a different concept. The very idea of a service called Death Cast and the dreaded last calls are enough for one to pick this book up.
To top it all, Adam Silver has done a fantastic job of creating such intense characters.
If there is something missing it is the pain. When I first picked this book up, I expected to be wowed but sadly that didn’t happen. It’s difficult to pinpoint what the book lacks in, and yet, that feeling that something is amiss, is present throughout the book.
Its not as sad as it should be. Also, it slows down towards the middle and feels dragged. You want to get to the end asap but the amount of time and pages it takes you to get there, kind of spoils the reading pleasure. Especially so when those in-between pages are insipid and dull.
Was the climax good?
The book, as it is obvious, ends on a sad note. This isn’t a spoiler as its pretty clearly mentioned on the blurb. The climax isn’t sudden or abrupt. I personally think it was well executed.
It was saddening to read about them dying. By the end of it, I was teary-eyed. Now, if a climax can make me cry, I will definitely call it a good one.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
Entertainment quotient is one aspect where the book doesn’t score that well. I still rate it a good 4 stars because overall it was a good read.
Strictly talking about entertainment though, there are places where They Both Die at the End lacks both pace and flow. It gets stuck and becomes monotonous and that is probably where it needed some help.
Pick up the book if
They Both Die at the End is a book that will appeal to people who are emotional and sensitive readers. If you enjoy serious YA reads that get you thinking about the more serious stuff, this is exactly the kind of book that you should be reading.
Skip the book if
I suggest you skip the book if young adult novels are not your thing. You may also do well do avoid the book if you don’t like sad and tragic reads. The book is sadder than it is entertaining, so if entertainment is the only thing that’s on your mind, it will be better to pick some other book.
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