Tag Archives: Death-Cast Series

Review: The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The First to Die at the End
Adam Silvera
Published October 4, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The First to Die at the End

In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.

It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?

Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.

Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.

Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.

Told with acclaimed author Adam Silvera’s signature bittersweet touch, this story celebrates the lasting impact that people have on each other and proves that life is always worth living to the fullest.

My Review

As soon as I heard about THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END, I knew I had to read it. My daughter and I STILL talk about THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END, so I couldn’t wait to tell her about the prequel.

When I started thinking about the idea of a prequel to Rufus and Mateo’s story, I couldn’t figure out how that would work. Like, how do you elevate a story that happens first? We had all these iconic moments with Rufus and Mateo and all these interesting intersections of characters because of the Death-Cast system. How would a story breathe new life into those things so they’re not repetitive?

Well. Let me say that one of the things I think this book does the best is to breathe fresh life into the idea of a Death-Cast world, and to create new twists and connections. It broke my heart all over again, and I loved every minute of it.

Two tiny notes: I’m not usually a fan of stories with lots of points of view. It gets easy to lose track of characters and their connections to each other. Though there’s a big cast, I kept track of everyone pretty easily. I loved the way that the different viewpoints added depth to the story.

Also, I loved the cameos from little Rufus and little Mateo! I was totally not expecting that, and it was fantastic.

Of the two books, I have to admit this one is my favorite, though. I remember feeling sad at the end of THEY BOTH DIE, but I fought back sobs at the end of this one. If you read and enjoyed Mateo and Rufus’s story, you do not want to miss THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END.

Content Notes

Content warning for gun violence, domestic violence, assault, and homophobia.

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Both Orion and Valentino are Puerto Rican and gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. They have sex. There’s a one line description and a couple references to it.

Spiritual Content
Valentino was raised Catholic and has been told that being gay is a sin which will condemn him to Hell. Orion’s mom says God wouldn’t come between a mother and her children.

Violent Content
Orion’s parents were killed on 9/11. He describes nightmares about seeing them afterward. One brief scene shows a shooting. Reference to and brief description of someone shot to death. References to Valentino’s sister’s car accident and some brief descriptions of it. References to and depictions of domestic violence and assault.

Valentino’s parents reject him for being gay and have said some homophobic things to him. Orion worries about walking home and people identifying him as gay and that being a problem in his neighborhood.

Drug Content

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Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End
Adam Sivera
Quill Tree Books
Published September 5, 2017

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About They Both Die at the End

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

My Review of They Both Die at the End

Okay, so I read this book mostly as a result of my daughter complaining that she wanted to read a book where people fall in love and then they both die at the end. So I was like, I think I know the right book for this! Ha.

I love that Mateo and Rufus have such different voices. And I love the rituals between Rufus and his friends, the Plutos. I love the way he challenges Mateo to come out of the safe careful cave he has lived in, and how Mateo challenges Rufus to stop hiding from his emotions.

In the story, you get a call the day you die, letting you know it’s coming. There’s nothing you can do to stop it, and you have no idea how or when during that day it’s going to happen. It’s an interesting paradox because knowing you’re going to die changes what you do that day, but you were already going to die before you decided to make those changes.

And it’s not only Rufus and Mateo getting those calls, it’s everyone. So all around them are people who’ve gotten the call or who are living in fear of it or living wilder because they haven’t gotten it. There are whole businesses that exist for people who are living their last day, which is kind of weird to think about, but would definitely happen if we knew what day everyone was going to die.

I love the two-people-thrown-into-a-situation-together-ness of this book, and I love how knowing each other changes both Rufus and Mateo. I like that they don’t meet each other looking for love, but find it unexpectedly.

It’s very weird to read a book knowing someone will die at the end. It’s kind of like accepting that something is going to hurt you but doing it anyway, knowing that along the way, that same thing is going to make you laugh, make you think about things in a way you hadn’t thought before. I guess all that to say that I was afraid this book was going to be too sad for me, and it’s definitely sad. But it’s also so full of hope and value and love. And I’m so glad I got to read it for those things, too.

If you liked AWAY WE GO by Emil Ostrovski, definitely check out THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END.

Content Notes for They Both Die at the End

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

One character is bisexual and another is gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used mainly by Rufus.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. At one point they fall asleep together.

Spiritual Content
Rufus and Mateo discuss what they think happens after death, whether there’s an afterlife. Neither believe very deeply in any sort of religion. One character believes in reincarnation.

Violent Content
At the beginning of the story, Rufus is beating up another boy. Later, a character brings a bomb to a gym and sets it off, killing himself and others nearby. A girl stands on top of a building, contemplating killing herself. A car accident kills another person. Someone points a gun at a member of a crowd. A fire kills someone.

Drug Content

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