Adam Silvera’s new book “The First To Die At The End” is a prequel to his book “They Both Die At The End” from a few years ago. Once again, the title gives away the premise of the book, without any spoilers from me. You’re told who’s dying early on, but the when and how is left a mystery, until you’re completely invested in the character and his death leaves you gutted.
“The First To Die At The End” takes us back years before “They Both Die At The End,” on the debut night of Death-Cast, a paid service that calls people at midnight to inform them they’re going to die within twenty-four hours. It’s the story of Valentino, the very first person called by Death-Cast, who’s new to New York City and developing a new friendship with local, Orion. The boys choose to spend the day together in an attempt to have Valentino live a fulfilling lifetime around the city in one glorious End Day. It’s not only a book about dying but living as well.
I enjoyed the origins of Death-Cast in “The First To Die At The End,” and how Adam gives a nod to the original book. “They Both Die At The End” is one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read and I was a little skeptical of a prequel, fearing it could tarnish my impression of the original, but I was unusually wrong. Adam’s writing style still draws me in, I love the short chapters that are time-stamped through the day so you feel the pressure of time that the boys feel, and the way his characters weave their way in and out of each other’s lives is touching and magical. I didn’t cry as much as the first book but when I did, I was just as much of a blubbering mess.
Whether you read “They Both Die At The End” or this is your first introduction to Adam Silvera, this book is definitely worth the read. The premise sounds dark and it is but it’s still sweet and inspiring as well. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, but a ride worth taking, in my gay opinion.