Don’t worry, this post doesn’t have spoilers, how could it when the book’s title says it all, “They Both Die At The End.” That’s the ultimate spoiler alert right there, it’s also the first thing that caught my eye in an email from The Strand Bookstore in New York City. The second thing that got my attention and sealed the deal, they had an autographed copy. The Strand holds a place near and dear to my heart because that’s where I got to meet my childhood idol Princess Leia (aka Carrie Fisher) and has been my savior quite a few times offering the unicorn of all finds in New York City…a public restroom.
Not only is New York the location of the store but also the setting of the book, in a not too distant future, where the company Death-Cast calls people just after midnight on the day they are going to die. Deckers don’t know how or when, but within the next twenty-four hours, they will cease to exist. Unfortunately for teen boys, Mateo and Rufus, today is the day they both get the dreaded call. They start out as strangers, with different situations that find them alone, until an app brings them together and gives them both a Last Friend on their End Day. The story is how they choose to spend their last day and how events from the past mold their short-lived future.
The book is written in a way that sucked me in from the get-go. It’s a timeline of each moment of these boy’s lives. By 2:00AM (page 50) I was getting teary eyed and by the end of the book I was a bawling mess. A huge mistake was taking the book with me to get an oil change, not the ideal place to lose it in the middle of the service department. Although sad, the book also has funny and touching parts. Also it does an amazing job of interweaving other people’s lives in and out of the story. It made me think about how one simple act now could impact my future based on the way I touch someone else’s life. It’s that whole butterfly effect thing.
In my gay opinion, if you’re looking for a book that will make you think…and cry, “They Both Die At The End” is the book for you. It made me thankful to be alive and wonder how I would want to spend my End Day.