"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."
At a little after midnight, seventeen-year-old Mateo Torrez gets a phone call from Death-Cast. It's the call everyone dreads, the one where you are told that sometime during the next 24 hours, you will die. Lonely and afraid to leave his apartment, Mateo reaches out using an app called Last Friend, which connects 'Deckers', as the people who have received the Death-Cast phone call are called, with someone with whom to share their last day. He connects with Rufus, Emeterio, another teenager who received the call while beating up his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. Together the boys try to help each other make their last day count.
They Both Die at the End is written by Adam Silvera, author of History is All You Left Me, and More Happy Than Not. The audiobook version, available on Audible, is wonderfully narrated by Michael Crouch, Robbie Daymond and Bahni Turpin. The chapters alternate between Mateo and Rufus, interspersed with sections about other minor characters, such as employees of Death-Cast and other deckers, which rounds out the world a bit. I found myself really caring about Mateo and Rufus, even knowing what their ultimate fate would be. The story is sad, but not unrelentingly depressing, and has quite of few moments of black comedy.
They Both Die at the End is a tragic tale about two teenagers trying to make the most of their remaining lives by being brave and kind. It's thoughtful, sad, and will stay with you for a long time after reading it.