Book review: "They Both Die at the End" by Adam Silvera

Most books build suspense by making it uncertain what will happen in the end. Then there's They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera - a book that spoils its resolution right in the title. You know how the story ends before you get to the first page.

The story is effectively summarized by this one-line quote:

Two dudes meet. They fall for each other. They die.

The premise of the story is a new technology, an app called Death-Cast that notifies its members when it's their last day on earth. It's always reliable, never sending a false alert and never missing a real one. Silvera doesn't go into much detail about how this App works, but that's okay because this isn't a book about technology. It's a thought experiment. And an old one: How should you spend your last day alive?

It's also not just a story about dying — more about what happens before. You know, the whole meeting and falling-for-each-other. If that sounds like the kind of book you'd read, I highly recommend it.


I think I would spend my last day reading and going on a walk, because those are the things that bring me peace. I wouldn't say goodbye to anyone because goodbyes only make sense when you plan to come back one day. Or maybe that's just what I tell myself because I'm scared of the real answer.

How often have you heard the line "Life every day like it is your last"?

That's probably a terrible idea because if everyone followed it, nobody would write books anymore. What's the point of starting a novel you're never going to finish?

I think I prefer living in world where most people assume they have many years left. Maybe that makes some of us a bit too risk-averse, maybe it encourages us to wait too long to do things we'd really enjoy. But it also inspires us to do things that are difficult and unpleasant because we hope the result will be worth it.

I don't think Adam Silvera would have started They Both Die at the End if he had thought it was his last day. But I'm glad he did.


You can find They Both Die at the End on worldcat or on amazon.