By the Book - Literary Life Lessons

By the Book #40 – They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera is a not-so-good-book which makes you think about Big Things. And it doesn't even mean to.

This is the first time I am writing a post about a book I haven’t finished. It’s fitting, in way. Adam Silvera’s young-adult LGBTQ-novel is about two boys who find out they’re going to die today, and they try to make their last day count. But why do we only want to live our life to the fullest when we know it’s almost over? Read on!

They Boy Die at the End is about Mateo and Rufus, who both receive a phone call in which they’re told they only have one more day to live. Unwilling to spend their last days on their own, they subscribe to the so-called Last Friend app, are matched, become best friends in a matter of hours, and find out they might feel even more for each other than just friendship.

Start of the book. So far? Hmm, not so good.

This is one of those novels that could easily have been great, exploring the age-old philosophical question as to what makes our lives really worth living. Faced with one’s own mortality, one inevitably has to decide how to make their last day really count, and I was looking forward to finding out what both boys would be up to. Well, instead of focusing on these profound issues, this novel is more about two boys finding love, and I kept wondering why they had to die at the end of the novel. To me it felt like the author needed an excuse to match up these total strangers.

That’s because they wouldn’t ordinarily have met if they weren’t about to die; Mateo is kind but friendless, and afraid of everything, while Rufus is the bad boy who is running away from his past. This is a classic love story of two boys who seem to be completely different but find out they are quite similar as soon as they open themselves up to each other. You know how these stories work. However, I wasn’t looking for a love story. I was looking for a deeper, more profound layer in this novel.

Maybe I expected too much. Then again, I always expect too much (read all about it here). I bet that if I were told that I only had 24 hours left to live, I would immediately start making an enormous list of all the things I simply had to do, even though I wouldn’t possibly be able to do them all. And then, at the end of the day, I would feel like I’d failed on all accounts. Oh boy.

Almost done. Still not that good, but my brain has been activated.

Maybe considering one’s mortality every once in a while isn’t that bad, for it forces us to think about what really matters, instead of doing what others consider important. I know I really don’t take enough time to focus on what I want to do with the rest of my life, and as a result I sometimes feel like I’m letting myself down. I feel like I just keep doing whatever I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m afraid that I’ll get stuck and never have the time to do all the things I still want to do…

Let’s recap here. I am writing about a book that I haven’t finished yet. I don’t even like it that much, because it’s far too simple for my taste. However, it does make me think about the more important things in life, and it does make me consider changing my life around so I won’t be disappointed when I, hopefully in a very long time, check out. Not bad for a mediocre book, is it?

So here’s a lesson for all of you: always finish the book you’re reading, for it might teach you some important things about yourself. When it comes to reading, there really is no such thing as a waste of time – even if you think you haven’t got much left.

What do you think you’d do if you found out you only had one day to live? Do you have a bucket list? Is friendship the most important thing in our lives? If not, what is? Please let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me for more book-related posts!

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