Review: They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera//The one where I discover me+Silvera=not true book love

th.jpgI made an unfortunate discovery while reading Adam Silvera’s latest, They Both Die At the End. Much like how I felt when reading Becky Albertalli’s sophomore novel, The Upside of Unrequited, I was met with the overwhelming feeling of blah. Blah, as in the color of a doctor’s office. Or baaah, as in the sound a black sheep makes when they have to respectfully disagree with nearly every other readers opinion. Emphasis on the respectfully part, too. Because I totally understand where all the Silvera love comes from. He is a man who can write, and both books I’ve read by him pack a powerful punch of emotion. Something in my reader brain though just does not click with his characters or storylines, making every single chapter a marathon to get through. However, if you’re a reader who loved More Happy Than Not, I would definitely recommend this one. Though I, unfortunately, am throwing in the towel with his work after this, I see Silvera as an author who will continue to evolve, and bring new, diverse voices to YA. Ultimately, me and this book had more than a few problems, beginning with…


the pacing. This book, which is a length that would normally take me 3 to 5 days to read, required 10 days of my undivided focus to get through. It almost put me into a reading slump singlehandedly. And this is because almost NOTHING happens throughout the course of the story. There’s a Point A and a Point B and a Point C that Silvera very clearly wants to get to, but he chooses to make that journey so predictable, while detailing every single key point along the way. It was so tedious, and felt like a chore to pick up the book. Part of this was the aforementioned, but the confines of the story didn’t help anything either. It’s hard for a lot of truly interesting stuff to happen in a book that takes place over 24 hours, especially when the character’s fates are so laid out. Speaking of characters…


I didn’t really connect with any of them. There’s our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus, the former of which is a carbon copy of every other lonely, shy, male nerd character. I felt like I’d read this book a million times before, because I sort of had thanks to that unfortunate fact. And, once again returning  to the one day plot trap, I definitely felt that it impeded on my ability to connect with the two as “real” people. Mostly because, thanks to their looming demise, all they want to talk about is death and their newfound carpe diem mentality. Even as it flip flops between the two perspectives, I oftentimes struggled to know who’s POV it was in. In culmination of all this, their deaths meant pretty much nothing to me. Not even the cheaply-inserted-with-50-pages-to-go romance could solve this. Insert long sigh.


My final big complaint is something that I think most readers will have very few problems with, but for me was a huge deal. This being the book’s central plot, detailing a service that can predict your death with nearly 100% accuracy. The story isn’t really about the scientific why behind this, but the existential ramifications. This is something I would normally be fine with given Silvera’s message, except for one thing I couldn’t ignore. Death Cast pretty much causes all the deaths in this book! Had people just lived their life as though it was any other day, they would probably still be alive. This especially includes the two protagonists, whose acceptance towards their impending demise pretty much causes their end. It’s a fundamental problem with the entire motivation behind the plot and the characters, and one I just couldn’t accept while reading. In my opinion, it cheapened things beyond the emotion Silvera crafted.


Overall, a solid book that just did not work with me. I’d recommend to past fans of SIlvera, or those who like very emotional stories. Definitely worth skipping if you didn’t love his past stuff, or are only mildly intrigued. Please let me know in the comments what your thoughts were, and if you agree/disagree with my assessment of things!


-Keep Calm and Read On


4 thoughts on “Review: They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera//The one where I discover me+Silvera=not true book love

  1. I only tried reading History Is All You Left Me & umm….. yeah, me and Silvera aren’t meant to be either. Which is sad bc his concepts for books seem so intriguing????? But I had the same problem with that book as you did with this one: I just couldn’t connect with the characters, care about them at all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone before who didn’t like his novels all that much which is,,,, awkward for me. So I’m really glad we’re not alone in this anymore!!
        And yeah, they definitely seem mostly character-driven which can obviously be a hit and miss bc what when you don’t connect to them…


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