They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Adam Silvera has such a unique voice when writing his characters. That is one of the first things that struck me about his writing style. The two narrators in this book were so vastly different in both their personalities AND their lingo that I honestly never would’ve thought it was written by the same person. I don’t know how he did it, but Silvera somehow managed to seamlessly portray the voice of two entirely different characters in his writing.

I couldn’t have loved the connection Mateo and Rufus had more. When we got those first intros to their characters, I couldn’t see it happening. Couldn’t imagine them having the type of understanding that they did. But the more the book went along, the more sense it made. They both brought out the best in each other—giving each other the chance to be the people they always wanted to be, but weren’t.

Originally, when I’d picked up this book, I hadn’t realised it’s a somewhat dystopian (futuristic) novel. Honestly, it felt more like it was in a parallel world where things run a little differently. I like how it didn’t take me more than a couple chapters to grasp the futuristic aspects, because it allowed me to snap my focus back to the main plot quicker.

The plotline of the book wasn’t anything fancy: it was simple and straightforward for the most part. But that didn’t make it any less interesting at all. All the pieces (the characters) connected in a somewhat thrilling way, keeping you hooked to know more about their connections and figure out who goes in where. It was a giant puzzle and I found myself scrambling to the end of the book to be able to see the bigger, completed picture.

The moral of this story was unexpectedly touching and hard-hitting all at once. It really reached out, grasped your shoulders, and spoke to you as a person. This is likely to be a book I won’t be able to stop thinking about for a long time. Not only because it broke my heart—that was bound to happen—but because of the way that it did it. People say you can’t really learn from hearing things, you have to experience them. Well, I experienced it all right, through Mateo and Rufus. And I think I’ve finally really learned from this book what it means to truly live.

I don’t know what it is about the way this story was recounted, but it really felt like it was speaking to you the whole time. Like the author was standing there, reading it to you with a smile on his face, waiting for you to figure out what he was trying to teach you. It was so obvious, and yet you couldn’t quite grasp the exact words for it until you finished the book. I don’t have the words to explain the deep sense of calm that settled in me after finishing this book and reading the acknowledgments (authors usually add a little behind the scenes of their book in the acknowledgements😉).

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