They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
Published by Harper Collins

ADAM Silvera is perhaps best known for this novel that tells you its ending at the beginning. A story for all those who read anxiously, anticipating where its twists could possibly go, and those who give in and flip to the last chapter for a unique perspective readers are rarely afforded.

They Both Die At The End is a romance in a capsule; you know it won’t end with the happily-ever-after that romance genre fans have come to expect but gives something else instead – an appreciation of how we value life and love knowing it has to end.

Its prequel, coming to shelves at the start of October, The First To Die At The End explores further the larger concepts at play with two new central characters and the equally heartbreaking premise that only one of them will be dead by the end. In anticipation of this new addition, now is the perfect time for the teenagers who haven’t entered this world of Silvera’s to do so.

The famous question goes: “If you had

24 hours to live, what would you do?”

It’s difficult to answer, or even imagine, but when DeathCast asks, it means it. DeathCast is an ominous and immense company that has somehow obtained the death date of every living person and sends out a call to all those who are within 24 hours of that moment.

They don’t know when or how it will happen, but people have to choose how to live those last minutes or hours wisely. For this profoundly isolating experience, DeathCast provides the Last Friend app which allows you to find and be paired with another person on the same haunting countdown as yourself and to keep each other company through its incessant, internal ticking.

Mateo has never been a particularly bold person and when he receives his call from DeathCast he does not intend for that to change. He’s almost resolute to stay at home alone in the safety of his bedroom and wait – until he makes a decision to use this knowledge of his inevitable death to truly live and turns to Last Friend.

Rufus, meanwhile, has the street-smarts acquired growing up in foster care shattered by the call in the middle of beating up his ex’s new boyfriend. After running away from the scene, he settles on not running alone.

After meeting through the app, the two are bonded by a crisis they never thought they’d have to face as teenagers. They live out everything they’ve been wanting to do, talking about all they’ve experienced and all they won’t get to. The development of their friendship and subsequent romance is so compelling because Rufus and Mateo fall in love with each other exactly as they are in

that day.

The story is not told with condescension but it is a lesson. It leaves you wanting to see, do and love more every day with its reminders of the fragility of life but also of the beauty of falling in love. Very little is permanent but the impact of this story is.