All the way back in February, I decided to pick this one up after anticipating reading it ever since it was first released all the way back in September. After reading History Is All You Left Me, I was super excited to read more from Adam Silvera, even if I was almost certain that this book would also leave me crying for days afterwards.
Even without Adam Silvera’s name on the cover, I was still insanely excited to read this one simply because of the unique concept that makes up this story. This book is set in a world where you receive an alert from Death Cast on the day that you are going to die, something that instantly intrigued me as I had never read anything even remotely similar before.
And Adam Silvera executed this concept in the best way possible.
Somehow he managed to encompass that feeling you must get when you receive that alert from death cast, of denial and inability to really accept the reality of what is going to happen. From as little as the title of this book, it is clear that both Mateo and Rufus are going to die at the end, and yet you still spend the entirety of this story wondering and hoping that they would be special or that there had been a mistake, and that they would survive despite everything.
Speaking of Mateo and Rufus, I can not tell you how much I adored both of them as characters. They were such different people, which I found really interesting to see within this story, as it showed us how two completely differently people respond to that such devastating news. Rufus was such a sweet character who I both wanted to protect at all costs and will to actually leave his bedroom and live his last day to its fullest. Meanwhile Mateo at first seemed like quite the opposite, as his hard outer shell created by all of the horrible things he had been through hid the selfless, caring boy underneath.
As I said, this contrast just made me fall for both of them even harder, as they truly did bring out the best in each other. Mateo helps Rufus to face his fears and truly live on his last day, whilst Rufus allows Mateo to open up to him and break down the walls he had spent so long building around himself. Their relationship is such a beautiful one as it never feels forced, but rather develops so naturally that it feels as though they were almost always meant to meet each other, which also unfortunately makes this story even more heartbreaking than it already is.
And once again, Adam Silvera includes some amazing diversity within this story. Of our two main characters, Rufus is gay and Puerto-Rican, whilst Mateo is Cuban, bisexual, and living in the foster care system, all of which I found so refreshing to see. I also loved reading about Rufus’ best friend, Lidia, who as a young single mum who lost her partner after he recieved an alert from Deathcast, was another character who was very different to the sort I usually read about, and served as another heartbreaking reminder of the world in which this novel is set.
One of my favourite surprises of this book was the small sections we got on other, minor characters. Through these, we got to explore how other people were affected by either the news that they would die, or simply how they were surviving in a world in which Deathcast existed. It really helped to develop both this world and this story, emphasising the complexity and brutality of this society. Not only are we heartbroken over the fate of our main characters, we also have to face the reality that these alerts affect not just Mateo and Rufus, but many others who also receive that call and all those around them as well.
As always, Adam Silvera’s writing was absolutely gorgeous, and worked so well with the nature of this story. For me the pacing was spot-on, as it slowly drew me in until, before I realised it, I was too hooked to put it down before the end. He manages to write such realistic young people who feel so real thanks to the way the speak and act through his writing.
And, of course, I was most definitely right when I said that this book was likely to leave me heartbroken. Somehow the ending of this one hit me so much harder than History is All You Left Me, as I found myself sobbing into at least the last fifty pages or so. Despite the obviously spoilery title of this book, I was still devastated by the way this story ended after watching Mateo and Rufus grow so close, and getting to know them so well individually.
So its safe to say that this has definitely become one of my new favourite books! It really made me think and question whilst also creating a gorgeously heartbreaking story that I will not forget for a long time to come.
Have you read this one – what did you think? Do you agree with my thoughts?