Staff Pick: They Both Die at the End
With a title like They Both Die at the End, there's no mystery about what to expect from this book's ending. But don't let that keep you from reading this incredible story about two teens on their last day.
They Both Die at the End takes place in an alternate version of today where death is no longer unpredictable. Instead, a company called Death-Cast will call between midnight and 3am on the day you will die to let you know it's time to get your affairs in order. Unfortunately, the company does not tell you how you will die or when, simply that your life will end at some point over the course of the day. With Death-Cast, people have been given the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones and attend their own funerals; the uncertainty of whether or not today could be your last day no longer exists.
They Both Die at the End takes place over the course of September 5th when Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio receive calls to let them know today is their End Day. Both in need of a friend to get through however many hours they have left, they meet through an app called Last Friend. And so begins a beautiful story about friendship, love, and loss.
Rufus and Mateo are incredibly different from one another. Mateo is quiet and suffers from social anxiety, choosing to spend most of his time alone in his room with his video games. Rufus is outgoing and adventurous and has made a family for himself with his friends in a foster home. Together, they are unstoppable. Over the course of the book, they try to live a lifetime in less than 24 hours, each helping the other to fulfill their last wishes.
With death looming over every page, They Both Die at the End is definitely an emotional roller coaster. You will love these characters, and you will root for them, and you will hope with every turning page that Death-Cast, who never makes a mistake, has got it all wrong about these two - because there's no way they both die at the end, right?
This is a must-read for teens and adults, and it would be an interesting choice for a book discussion group, especially since it forces the reader to ask: what would I do if I received a call from Death-Cast today? Would I want to know if today was my End Day? I'm still not sure.