Comfort Books – They Both Die At The End

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Seeing as it’s the weekend, I thought I’d try something different and subject you to the ranting of someone who’s just finished They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera… for the third or fourth time. I’ve lost count! Undeniably, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and is an ineffably beautiful book. Like, I can’t put into words how it makes me feel. Insightful, funny and so clever, I love that I can read it again and again without getting bored. It’s a totally different experience rereading a book for the second time. I once saw someone say that they read every book three times to fully appreciate it; whilst I do not have the time or the patience to do that, you’re not wondering what’s going to happen and can spend so much more time actively appreciating the book.

It follows Mateo and Rufus, two strangers who receive alerts from ‘Death Cast’ telling them that will die that day. The boys meet through an app called ‘Last Friend’ and try and live an entire lifetime in a single day. For more information you can find my original review here, but I thought I’d mention my favourite details that I’ve picked up from rereading. What is your comfort book? Have you read They Both Die At The End? Let me know in the comments!

  • There is so much foreshadowing. Adam Silvera is cruel – I’ll see something and realise… but he doesn’t get to do it… or that it parallels the very last line. It makes it all the more sadder (disclamer: it’s a hopeful book, but not a happy one. Although with a name like They Both Die At The End I guess you know what to expect!)
  • Whilst the only first person perspectives are from the two main characters, you get many other third person narratives. They’re sometimes super short and build up this massive picture of an incredibly 3D world. There’s a huge focus on cause and affect, how your actions will always have some sort of impact and it’s so CLEVER.

I physically cannot talk about this book without crying, or disintegrating into an endless list of positive adjectives.

  • They Both Die At The End is science fiction, thriller, mystery and yes a romance but I love that Mateo and Rufus are very much seperate characters. They work so well together but aren’t built with one of them as the ‘love interest’ and the other the main character.
  • So much happens. If you’re worried (like I was) that there wouldn’t be enough plot crammed into one day, there is!
  • One of my favourite parts is the idea of ‘Death Cast’, and learning about its impact on the world. Very well thought out!
  • They Both Die At The End is feminist and diverse and inclusive in such a normalised way. Because these things are normal. But I love how offhandedly side characters are introduced as female CEOs travelling to meet their girlfriends.

Last thing: do you ever hear a song and just think THIS WAS MADE FOR THIS BOOK. It’s rare, but the other night I was thinking of They Both Die At The End and Hold Back The River by James Bay came on the radio. I nearly started sobbing.

Once upon a different life
We rode our bikes into the sky

Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side


Maybe I should try and find a comfort book where the main characters don’t die, but They Both Die At The End is beautiful and changes your perception of the world as much as paper can.

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

35 thoughts on “Comfort Books – They Both Die At The End

    1. I WASN’T EITHER! I swear I spent the entire book thinking… it’s not gonna happen… it’s not gonna happen AND THEN IT DID 😭 Even though they did spend the entire book preparing the reader for it, I wasn’t ready. Don’t think I ever will be…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I absolutely loved “They Both Die at The End”. I am a big Silver fan, although I am not too keen on the fantasy stuff unfortunately. I think my comfort book is “Red, white & Royal Blue”, which is a far happier story than yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I enjoyed rwarb! I read it so long ago that I definitely need to reread it because I think I was *a bit* young but it’s such a cute idea. I really really want to read history is all you left me – I nearly bought it last week but thought I’d wait until the international pandemic was over before I tackle what I know will destroy me haha. The infinity son books are also high on my wtr but sorry you didn’t enjoy it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think part of my issue with those is that I really do not enjoy fantasy as much as I did before, and neither I enjoy series anymore. But I hope you’ll love them!


      2. Yeah I totally agree with you on not being able to do series(es?) anymore. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, but I have to be super certain that I’m going to love a series before I buy 10 books, and even then it feels like a big commitment?


  2. I totally agree – They Both Die At The End was one of the first YA books that really got me into reading and it holds a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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