The Pageturner: *Spoiler Alert* “They Both Die at the End”
December 2, 2019
“They Both Die at the End” is the first thing that caught my eye about this book. I was browsing the classroom library of Lori Vincent, AP Language and Composition teacher, and stumbled upon this quote. I thought that this had to be a spoiler, it just had to be.
When I read the back of the book, I was surprised to find out that it was not a spoiler, but the actual title. The rarity of a spoiler being within the title instantly made me want to read more- and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.
The book was fast paced which I really enjoyed. I find it harder to read a book when it’s slow-moving, especially when it’s something cliche; like a love story. However, the story of Mateo and Rufus is anything but.
It took me a few chapters to fully understand what was happening in their semi-dystopian lifestyle, but once it made sense, everything that followed was easy to understand.
The book starts off in the middle of Mateos day-to-day life when he is informed by ‘Death-Cast’ that he will die before the day is over. The purpose of Death Cast is to inform citizens of when they will die; not when or how, only that they will.
Mateo struggles with this and as a result, makes an account on an app for dying people of the day; which leads him to find Rufus.
Rufus had also received his call earlier in the day so the two agree to meet up and spend their last amount of time together. They went indoor-skydiving, visited each others favorite places, and ultimately fell in love.
Generally, I’m not a fan of love stories that take place under dire circumstances such as this one, but as they were falling for each other, I was falling for the book.
The book is written in different point of views, mainly that of Mateo and Rufus, but toward the end there are others that speak as well. The different view points allowed me to see their stream of consciousness which showed me everything they felt when they were around each other.
Personally, I love books written in different perspectives. I feel as though each perspective takes you a little deeper into the reading and as a result, you gain a better understanding of the characters and the book as a whole. However, if you’re a reader who prefers to have one narrator, I cannot say that I would recommend this book for you.
Another thing I enjoyed throughout the book was the originality of it. From the title, to the types of characters and their sexualities, to the overall plot of the book. I can honestly say that this book is not like anything I’ve ever read before. Sure, I’ve read books with same-sex couples and books with imperfect endings, but I’ve never read something that told me exactly what was going to happen.
Despite knowing it was going to happen, I still was unprepared for the deaths of Mateo and Rufus. I haven’t cried over a book in a while, but this book made me cry.
All in all, “They Both Die at the End” is a rollercoaster of emotions which made me appreciate it that much more. Even with the “spoiler” right there in the title, it still offers many surprises throughout.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes out of the ordinary readings and I’ve got to say, this one has earned a spot on the list of books close to my heart.