The book cover of young adult novel "They Both Die at the End" shows the silhouettes of the two main characters, teenage boys, walking in a cityscape with a dark blue night sky and bright white moon. The text reads "They Both Die at the End, the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Adam Silvera"

"They Both Die at the End" is a young adult novel by Adam Silvera that tells the story of two teenage boys who learn they have only one day left to live. (Quill Tree Books)

Arts and Entertainment

Review: ‘They Both Die at the End’ was not worth the hype

Young adult novel "They Both Die at the End" was popularized on "BookTok" but is full of plot holes and forgettable.
<a href="" target="_self">Zaineh Saleh</a>

Zaineh Saleh

June 25, 2022
“They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera is a contemporary young adult novel that follows the story of Mateo and Rufus. The book was popularized with the help of “booktok,” a platform on TikTok that provides readers with book recommendations. It experienced major success as it became a New York Times best seller. Many readers, including myself, were excited to read the book and headed to the nearest Barnes and Noble.

The excitement didn’t last long as I realized the novel was the definition of overhyped. The plot of the book looked promising and had extreme potential. But from the mediocre writing, extremely rushed ending, and forced romance, it was at best, just bland.

For being categorized as a “YA” book, it was completely childish. No plot twists, secrets, or plot progression. I understand the ending is in the title, but it felt offered nothing more. I cannot even start with the plot holes and the extremely poor world-building. It was merely underwhelming. The book also gave no proper introduction. It didn’t explain how the world worked or key details, but instead, it left the reader confused rereading every five pages to understand basic details. The author added random “gen-z” pop references to seem relatable when in reality it sounds like a millennial trying to be relatable.

The romance between Mateo and Rufus felt extremely forced and out of nowhere. It just appeared and felt extremely forced as the characters had no previous connection. Adam Silvera is the type of author that would throw in unexpected romances with sad endings to make his works seem “good” or “meaningful.”

If I would describe the book in a word I would say depressing. Not in a beautiful way that has deep poetic meaning and spark, but rather in a forgettable depressing way. If you ever felt like wasting your time and experiencing boredom, I suggest reading this book!

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