Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: They Both Die at the End (Adam Silvera)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Mateo, I regret to inform you that sometime in the next twenty-four hours you’ll be meeting an untimely death. And while there isn’t anything we can do to suspend that, you still have a chance to live.”

Imagine a stranger calls you in the middle of the night and tells you those exact words. Did you end up in a horror movie? Nope. You’re in the future and by now technology is so advanced that people are informed when they are going to die. But of course there’s a catch. They inform you 24 hours before you die and they neither know how it’s going to happen nor when. A car crash, an elevator, an explosion, choking on food? In three hours, right now when you receive the call, 23 hours and 59 minutes from the moment you’ve been called? Everything is possible.

”I was raised to be honest, but the truth can be complicated. It doesn’t matter if the truth won’t make a mess, sometimes the words don’t come out until you’re alone. Even that’s not guaranteed. Sometimes the truth is a secret you’re keeping from yourself because living a lie is easier.”

So what are you supposed to do? Try to fight it? Stay at home and hope you’re safe there? Go out and live your last day to the fullest? Deny it or rather use the chance to say goodbye to your loved ones? It’s up to you but whatever you do, “Death Cast” is never wrong and sooner or later death will find and claim you. It doesn’t matter if you’re 90 or 5. A mother, father, child, husband, aunt, best friend or a celebrity, death doesn’t care about those things, it makes no difference.

”I look ahead at the empty streets, and I start walking towards Rufus and his bike, walking towards death with every minute we lose, walking against a world that’s against us.”

Mateo and Rufus both received the call and neither of them is able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Rufus made a mistake that caused his friends to be “unavailable” and Mateo’s father is in a coma and won’t even notice when his son dies. Thankfully there’s an app for situations like that (I just loved this! I mean nowadays there’s an app for everything, right? *lol*) and our two boys meet over “Last Friend”. They are both going to die and they decide to spend their last day together…

”You shouldn’t donate to charity, help the elderly cross the street, or rescue puppies in the hopes you’ll be repaid later. I may not be able to cure cancer or end world hunger, but small kindnesses go a long way.”

And here is the moment when I’m finally going to talk about those two young and sweet boys that only have one day left to do whatever they feel like doing. This book really made me think and it certainly caused me to feel. I could relate to their struggle so much and a little part of me broke when Mateo threw his books across the room knowing full well that it wouldn’t matter if they got ripped or destroyed because in a few hours he wouldn’t be there to care about it. There were so many little moments that ripped my heart out. T_T Mateo singing for his dad who couldn’t hear him, Rufus hoping the Plutos would show up, Mateo taking care of his best friend’s kid so she could have a few moments to herself, Rufus thinking that Mateo is pure… IT. BROKE. MY. FREAKING. HEART!

”Entire lives aren’t lessons, but there are lessons in lives.
You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”

What Mateo and Rufus have at the end of their lives is so special! They get to know each other in a way not many people are able to. They speak about the important things, they don’t shy away from difficult topics and they get involved with each other. Without prejudices, without a second thought! But would they have been so open if it wouldn’t have been their last day? I doubt it. There are things you’re too scared to say, things you don’t even dare to think about, but what if the only person that’s holding you back is actually yourself?

I lean in to his ear. “I want to go to Jones Beach and race you to the waves and play in the rain with our friends. But I want quiet nights, too, where we talk about nonsense while watching bad movies.” I want us to have history, something longer than the small window of time we’re actually sharing, with an even longer future, but the dying elephant in the room crushes me.”

I loved that Rufus helped Mateo to find himself and I adored the way Mateo was able to get under Rufus’s skin. What if they would have been given more time together? How much they could have achieved and done; how good they could have lived! It’s just so unfair! Or at least it seems to be like that because if there is one thing you can say about death, then it’s that it’s actually fair. It makes no difference between young or old, married or single, famous or not, good or bad, sick or healthy, queer or straight, happy or unhappy. It’s just death and it … well, it happens. Sooner or later we all have to go. We’re born and we die, whatever happens in the middle is up to us.

”Why can’t we knock on Death’s door and be or barter or arm-wrestle or have a staring contest for the chance to keep living? I’d even want to fight for the chance to decide how I die. I’d go in my sleep.”

4

I guess you can already tell that this book made me think really hard. To be honest I never stopped thinking about it and I’m pretty sure this is one of those books that will stay with me for quite a while. Adam Silvera painted a vivid picture of a world in which we all know when it’s time to go. Whether this is good or bad is up for discussion and we readers are encouraged to give it some serious thought. The different POVs only add to that thought process and the way all those lives are connected and interwoven gives the reader a profound sense of life and its scope as well as its associated mechanisms. Or in other words: It’s like with the figuratively pebble that’s thrown in the pond. An infinitesimal action has huge consequences.

I won’t tell you how this ends because you know, “They Both Die at the End” or not?? but I will admit that close to the ending my thoughts were all over the place and I found myself yelling: “Oh, sh**! It can’t be!!!”

spoiler

It’s not the “when” or “what” that will leave your mind reeling, it’s the HOW!!!! AASDFKLASDJFKSDFJASKLDFJSAKLDFJSLD!!!

All told this was a great book that no doubt, will leave its mark.

”There are questions I can’t answer. I cannot tell you how you will survive without me. I cannot tell you how to mourn me. I cannot convince you to not feel guilty if you forget the anniversary of my death, or if you realize days or weeks or months have gone by without thinking about me.
I just want you to live.”

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

This apartment isn’t home for either of us, but we’re home to each other, and that’s what makes every wall fall away so I only focus on him.”

When I heard that Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera were writing a love child book together I instantly knew that I needed this in my life. XD Okay, it might have taken me a little while to get to it and I guess I kinda missed the hype train, but maybe this was good because I could focus on my own opinion instead of reading the opinion of others on my feed. 😉

And after finishing the final page let me tell you this: My opinion about this book is quite a strong one! *lol* I know there are a lot of people out there that ended up not liking “What If It’s Us” and I’m the first one to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. If you’re looking for a fluffy and cute contemporary book you might be disappointed. Because yes, there is some fluff and cuteness going on but in this one it’s actually taking a backseat. At least it felt like that for me.

”But there were only so many hits to the heart I could take before I needed to step away. I gave him a lot of chances – I gave us a lot of chances. I just wasn’t good enough to remind him love could be a good thing.”

So what did Albertalli and Silvera try to achieve with this? If you ask me I think they wanted to write something realistic! And if they tried to do this, well, then they certainly nailed it! I mean at first I was a little bit disappointed about where this was heading too. I was hoping for a sweet romance and then I got Arthur and Ben! *lol* One of them some sort of innocent and naïve country bumpkin that only lives in the big city for the summer and the other a pretty disenchanted guy that is grumpy because his first love didn’t work out the way he hoped it would.

I swear, I never read about a couple that would have been worse for each other than those two! *lol* And I’m meaning this in the best way possible. At first glance they have nothing in common and just don’t fit together, but as the story continued to unfold I realized that this was okay. They are two different people that don’t have a lot in common but despite their obstacles, their misunderstandings, their troubles and personal sensitivities they still work somehow.

”…, and our voices don’t ever really become one, but I like how we sound together.
Like two people trying to make it work.”

I loved this quote because it’s so true! If you’re in a real relationship nothing is perfect. It’s easy to be in a relationship when you both still see things through rose-coloured glasses, but once this first stage of infatuation wears off a relationship is a lot of work. In Ben and Arthur’s case they just had to face those problems way earlier than others, they both tried to understand each other though and if you ask me I think this was a very mature approach. Speaking of which, another thing I really liked was the fact that both of them were already out of the closet. Ben’s entire family knew and Arthur told his people before he moved to New York.

”Yeah. I put up an Instagram post on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Said that I was thankful for all the people in my life who are cool enough to love me as I am. And everyone else could unfriend me online and in real life. I had even checked my follower count before posting.”

Gosh, how I wish everyone could be as brave as Ben! But then again, not everyone has a family and friends like him. Not all of us are fortunate enough not to be unfriended after a statement like that. No matter if it might be on Instagram or in real life. >_< Still, I liked that they were both comfortable with being who they truly are and it’s really rare to read an LGBTQ+ story in which the characters are already out. So kudos for that! Well, for that and for the amazing portrayal of realistic friendships! XD

Dylan claps. “Okay. I’m sold. I am shipping you with the boy you met when you were supposed to be shipping relationship relics to your last boy.”

I loved Ben’s and Dylan’s friendship so much! They were amazing and their innuendos and jokes kinda reminded me of my bestie and me. *lol* I swear, when it comes to that we’re exactly like those two and it was so refreshing to see a friendship like ours represented on the pages of a book. Alone for that I couldn’t help but adore this story! I would never ever say anything like Ben to my bestie though. Phew! That was a really hurtful comment and I swear if my bestie would have said something like that to me I wouldn’t have talked to her either! I’m just glad Ben got his act together and apologized to Dylan in the end. XD

Samantha takes a step away from him. “A lightning bolt is going to burst in here any second now and shut you up.”
“I eat lightning for breakfast.”

Samantha and Dylan were amazing too! ❤ They weren’t only made for each other and a truly perfect match, but also so damn funny that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. 😉 Some people might say that Dylan was a little bit over the top, but let me tell you this: there are actually real Dylan’s out there in this world and if you’re very lucky one of them is a part of your life! XD

4

At first I was a little bit disappointed because this went in an entirely different direction than I expected. The longer I read the more I got captivated by the story though. I began to appreciate it for its realistic and honest approach and with time all the characters and their individual flaws started to grow on me. If there is one thing I have to criticize then it’s THE ENDING!!!! I mean OMG!!! To quote the Duke from Moulin Rouge: “I don’t like this ending!”
WHY, Becky and Adam?!! WHY??!!! I think I’ll never get over this ending and like so many others before me I demand a “do-over”! (See what I did there? *lol*) I’ll miss my two disaster gays so much and I’ll always want a sequel. #SorryNotSorry ;-P
This said: Happy Reading!

Arthur is tearing up. “Thanks for this. For everything. This morning. This summer. I know I’m a lot, and you’ve been so cool about it.”
I laugh a little. “We’re the worst. I mean, we’re the best. But we’re the worst. You always think you’re too much, and I feel like I’m not enough.”