Here’s Why Everyone Is Reading They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Here’s a book that has recently captured the attention of every book lover everywhere in the world. But what is it about this specific story that makes the book so special?

The Story

On September 5 after midnight Death-Cast, the organization in charge of calling people and informing them that they’re going to die sometime in the next 24 hours, calls Mateo and Rufus. Two boys who now have to come to terms with the fact that they are going to die at some point this very day. Soon after, they meet on an app and decide to spend their last day together and live as much as they can in one day.

This book is not about death, however important to the story it is. The title mentions that they both die, but the best part of this book is the characters living the day fully. Mateo, an anxious 18-year-old, has rarely left his room before today. Now he has to catch up on everything he’s missed in the outside world in such a short time. He spends his last day with Rufus living each of their lives to the max, saying goodbye to the people they love, and doing things they never thought they wanted to do.

Rufus on the other hand is a 17-year-old boy who gets his call while he’s beating up Peck, his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend. He realizes that he doesn’t want this to be the last thing he does in his life so he goes back to his foster home with his friends and throughout the day he grows as a character, and Rufus’ and Peck’s roles reverse.

This is all one part of a giant story that makes the book so readable and thus a global success. Life is short no matter how long you live. Chasing fulfillment is an impossible task. However, from time to time doing things as if this was your last day on Earth could potentially ignite some inner flame you didn’t even know you had.

The Impact

Although They Both Die at the End was published in 2017, its popularity found new heights around 2020 when it was trending on TikTok. The book’s a New York Times bestseller for a reason. It’s been called ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unforgettable’ by many review sites. The eye-catching title promises a heartfelt story with characters you will feel for by the end, and it fully delivers on that promise. The incredible and thorough representation that this book provides is also note-worthy. Not only do you relate and feel for the two main characters, but the way their journeys intersect with one another is mesmerizing. The queer and POC representation is well-thought-out and not just for show. As such, the impact of the book becomes all that more important when you see just how well-represented some of the more marginalized groups feel. This is a sign of a great storyteller and of a good book, that no matter if you’re reading it in 2017 or now five years later you will still be reading a fresh perspective that might leave you in tears by the end.

The Author

Adam Silvera, 31, born and raised in New York City, has been writing since the age of 10. His novels deal with themes of romance, self-acceptance, queerness, and death. His understanding of young love, realistic experiences of teenagers, and his own battles with depression which he’s been open about on many occasions make him stand out as a writer. Many of his novels and stories are now being adapted into TV shows and movies and for good reason. Some of his other novels and stories include hits like What If It’s Us co-authored with Becky Albertalli, The Infinity Series, History is All You Left Me, and the note-worthy standalone novel which more recently is going to be possibly banned in Texas, the US, More Happy Than Not. One thing is for certain though, he has found a way to connect to the youth and beyond and a lot of people are looking forward to the next book he publishes.


If you’re a fan of They Both Die at the End you may be happy to hear that Adam Silvera has recently announced that two more books are coming up in the same universe. The first of the two, titled The First to Die at the End is scheduled for release on October 4, 2022. So, if you loved this story and want more, be on the lookout for the next release in this magnificent universe that Silvera has created alongside the TV adaptations coming soon as well.


Illustration: Bibadash/

Read another book review here:

A Reader’s Perspective on bell hooks’ The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love

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