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Young Adult Book Review: They Both Die at the End

The following review of They Both Die at the End (Harper Teen, September 5, 2017) by Adam Silvera is from Food, Fitness & Fiction contributing editor Joshua Flores (pictured below).

In Adam Silvera’s latest release, They Both Die at the End, the intertwined stories of two boys struggling through their last day of life is explored. With just as many heartbreaking and humorous moments as his previous releases, Silvera delves into the simple things in life and the true meaning of time and relationships.

Here’s a description from Amazon:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.



You hear your cell phone ring. You answer the call. You hear the voice on the other end and realize it’s Death-Cast. Today is the day you will die. In Adam Silvera’s latest young adult release, he explores the complexities of life and death, the bonds that can be made in the most unexpected of ways, and what it means to truly live. In an emotional, tragic, and hopeful tale of friendship, They Both Die at the End brings readers into a brilliant new world that previous fans are certain to love (in between tears, of course).

Mataeo and Rufus don’t know each other when they get the call—the call that tells you that you will die within the next twenty-four hours. They begin their day confused and paralyzed with death looming over them as they choose what their last day will mean, and most importantly, who they will spend it with. But through chaos, fights, wild adventures, and plenty of laughs, Mataeo and Rufus learn not only the treasure of time, but the love and acceptance that can be found in a perfect stranger. Both boys must face their pasts, come to term with their impending death, and decide to either fear the unexpected or live in the moment.

Adam Silvera has done it again, creating another novel that is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and sad (tip: keep a box of tissues within arms reach). While I thoroughly enjoyed his previous releases, this book may be my favorite. Unlike his other books that deal mainly with romance, focusing mainly on characters coming out or dating, this book takes a different turn. With this book, Silvera leaves readers with more to contemplate about life, death, and what it truly meals to live life to its fullest. He also challenges readers to take risks like Mataeo and Rufus. They Both Die at the End is, by far, Silvera’s most complex and thought-provoking novel to date. Reading the book is truly enjoyable, and feels much like having an actual conversation with the witty Silvera himself.

Told with wit and humor, Silvera constructs a deep narrative that not only includes two very likable and strong male leads, but gives teens important ideas to grapple and ponder. They Both Die at the End was shocking and addicting in all the best ways, and I was hooked from start to finish. I highly recommend it and have no doubt readers will truly enjoy following the journey of Mataeo and Rufus as they live out and make the most of their very last day alive.

To learn more about Silvera and his’s work, visit his website.

Here are a few other reviews of They Both Die at the End:

Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

YA Books Central

Joshua Flores is a freshman at Biola University studying English (with an emphasis on creative writing). When he is not doing homework or reading on the beach, he’s imagining hilarious and horrifying new situations for the novel he is working on, attending book signings (especially for his favorite young adult authors), or discovering new and exciting places in LA. He also writes for Germ Magazine. Follow him on Instagram (@booklover41899) or on Facebook.



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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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