I’d like to say a big thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster (Australia) for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Australian publication date for this book is the 1st of October, 2017.
They Both Die at the End is set in our world, with one tiny difference. The difference being that on the day that someone is going to die, they get a call from “Death-Cast”, (known as the alert) informing them they will die. Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio are both ‘Deckers’ (someone who has gotten the alert). Mateo is a shy eighteen year old, who wants to use his last day doing something he’s never done before – live without hesitation! Rufus on the other hand is a confident but lost seventeen year old. His parents and sister have recently died, and he receives his alert as he’s beating up his ex-girlfriends new boyfriend. By chance, Mateo and Rufus both download and friend each other on the Last Friend app – an app to find someone to spend your Death Day with, and spend the day together is exactly what they do.
“The only thing I can confidently rule out is dying of old age.” – Mateo Torrez
This book is absolutely unique and beautiful. It explores so many themes with such subtlety and grace, such as friendship, love, grief, isolation and death. The book is mostly told from alternating perspectives of Mateo and Rufus, but we also get the third person tales of different people throughout the city – some have relations to Mateo and Rufus, whilst others are seemingly random. What you’ll come to find as you progress through the book is that nothing is random within it. Every characters life intertwines so majestically, I feel privileged to have been able to read it. The concept itself is so intriguing and really got me thinking, if you knew today was the day you would die, would you live it differently? Should we live every day as if it was our last? I know for me, sometimes I let my own apathy and inverted-ness tie me down. I’ll sit at home watching Netflix when I could be making memories. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but this book definitely made me think about how to live my life to the fullest. But, I digress…
Reading a book like this is a strange experience. You know what’s going to happen in the end – it’s right there in the title. It makes you want to guard yourself against falling in love with these characters… BUT I FELL. I FELL HARD. The boys are just so wonderfully written that you can’t help it. They are so beautiful and pure and they don’t bloody deserve to get the call!!! I’m so mad, I’m so sad and I’m so heartbroken. But I also feel happy to have read about Mateo and Rufus, to have learned about their lives and their friends and families. To watch them both grow within the span of one day. This book is one of a kind and gets 5/5 from MOI!