They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This scything, searing read tore at me from the first page, and for me, hit all the high notes in character, plot, pacing, voice, and surprises and touches that thrum long after swiping left on blast to the very last page. Silvera is at his best in his third YA novel, having read and loved both of his first books as well. I'm not ashamed to be a hardcore fanboy. He's definitely on my list of auto-read authors.
I loved the nuanced way Silvera wove life after life together in the primarily dual POV structure, with layers of other characters that may surprise you time and again. Each beat is pointed, deliberate, and a testament to the life of each of his characters, the way dancers leave it all on the floor of the club when they dance among their tribe.
My takeaway is clear: what if we lived our lives to the fullest, as if today were our last? What if we dared to be our authentic self, holding nothing back, regretting nothing, yet if we had regrets, finding the best way to make it right? How true. What a risk. And what an important message. The fact that I know Adam pours his own heart and soul out here on every page, making himself vulnerable for his readers, and did all the hard work to take us there, makes it even more a brave, glorious song, perhaps sung a bit off key, but real, authentic, and chock full of humanity.
I loved the many tender moments I found myself choked up, teary-eyed, not giving a shit that others might laugh at me since I might as well be at Make-A-Moment; after all, I'm just reading a book, right?
Mateo and Rufus leapt off the page, soared on the back pegs of a bike rushing full boar into their final day. What a day. What a life. What a powerful read. I'm still reeling from the aftermath. Damnit, Silvera: you made me mad cry. I will find you, and I will punch you. Looking forward to your next book, and the next.
P.S. The traveler game is my new fave. Love all the social media treats, too.
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