No need to worry about spoilers with this one, the title says it all, They Both Die at the End. Knowing the end though didn’t stop me from shedding a few tears when I finally got there.
Both Mateo and Rufus receive calls from Death Cast in the early morning hours, letting them know by the end of the day they will be dead. Mateo gets his call while sitting safely in his room (to be fair it is the middle of the night, but Mateo has also lived his life oh so cautiously) and Rufus receives his while beating up the guy dating his ex-girlfriend. These two begin their last day as strangers and through the Last Friend App their lives come together. It starts off a stiff and awkward (Rufus basically has to force Mateo to leave his apartment and when Mateo finds out Rufus is wanted by the police he’s ready to bolt), but by the end of the day they’ve developed a meaningful relationship. I’m not usually a fan of the insta-relationship, but with them dying it makes some sense that they would throw themselves into something more fully and with fewer inhibitions (I also really enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star so maybe the 1 day relationship can work if done well).
Silvera‘s book took me some time to get into; Rufus and his friends started kind of flat for me and I just wanted Mateo to leave his apartment already. Once Rufus and Mateo fell into a rhythm together though the book came alive. The book isn’t focused on the power of Death Cast, or trying to overcome it (although I have so many questions about it. Doesn’t it end up causing deaths by encouraging people to do things they wouldn’t normally do on their last day? Would they have died anyways by some other means? Does Rufus’s theory that those who are called have already died and are just getting a last day extension have some merit? Who runs Death Cast?). Despite the semi-fantastical premise the book focuses on the questions of life and human connection.