YA Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Title: The Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Published by: Harper Teen

Format: Softcover

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Order at: Amazon | B&N

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: This novel is more cerebral than the Adam Silvera’s other work, deftly weaving a speculative universe within the confines of present day New York. It’s here, in this space, that two teenagers find each other and, in turn, find themselves. They Both Die At The End is a stellar piece of writing filled with love and friendship, joy and grief, courage and redemption, and more twists than you can throw a stick at. Whatever that means. Either way, it’s a candidate for best book of the year from me. I strongly encourage you to read it STAT.

Check out Alex interviewing Adam Silvera about They Both Die at the End and enter to win a paperback ARC!

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Release Day Interview and Giveaway: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Five years ago, Adam Silvera started a notebook that turned into They Both Die At The EndThe release date—September 5, 2017—is coincidentally the same day in which Mateo Torres and Rufus Emeterio receive their respective Death-Cast calls, with notification that within twenty-four hours they will die.

Sound devastating? 

Well, it is. But it’s also incredibly hopeful. These two boys still have one day to live. Once they find each other, Mateo and Rufus turn out to be a perfect foil for each other’s short comings, allowing each of them to … well, you are simply going to have to pick up this book and read it in order to find out for yourself. 

If you’re familiar with Silvera’s work, you’ll know this sort of sweet, funny devastation isn’t a one-off effort. 

More Happy Than Not burst onto the scene in May, 2015 and hit the New York Times Bestseller List the next month. His ambitious debut featured Aaron Soto, a kid who lives in projects in the Bronx who, in struggling with his attraction to other boys, seeks out the Leteo Institute in order to wipe his mind and start again. It’s the greatest of all do-overs and destined to fail. His sophomore effort, History Is All You Left Me, tells the story of Griffin Jennings who is grieving the loss of his love and ex-boyfriend, Theo McIntyre, while his OCD gets progressively worse.

Silvera writes to break our collective hearts. As an own voices author writing queer and latino boys from New York, he’s as authentic as authors get. But there is something in this third novel that’s a little bit different. In the author’s note in my ARC, Silvera writes about how the prior two books stemmed from personal experience but this one came from his own inexperience and in finding the courage to explore that. 

I recently got the chance to chat with Adam Silvera about his newest book.

Alex de Morra: In each of these three novels, the hero’s sexual identity is tied heavily to the story arc. In More Happy Than Not, Aaron wants to erase that part of himself and ends up erasing more than that. In History Is All You Left Me, both Theo’s death and Griffin’s queerness is immutable, as is Griffin’s sense of them as a couple. In They Both Die At The End, Mateo’s identity and his evolution towards living are slowly revealed as he lives more and more of his ‘lifetime in a day.’ Will you talk about that?

Adam Silvera: Since History was the third book I wrote, I was aching to write a narrator whose sexuality wasn’t sheltered or scary. Griffin is just happily gay. And Mateo is relatable because I didn’t come out until I was 19, but had I known that I was going to die at 18, I would’ve come to grips with it on that day. No doubt. I would kiss a guy and say I love you and embrace myself in full force. Not instantly, of course, it would be gradual, but it’s a finish line that would be important for me to cross. 

AdM: It’s interesting that you mention History was actually the third book you wrote even though it was the second one published. What led to swapping History with They Both Die? 

AS: I just knew this book needed more time and wasn’t worth presenting to any editor just yet, and I’ve spent a total of five years on this book from initial thought to final manuscript. The world and characters have grown so much.

AdM: In both Happy and They Both Die, the worlds are built off present day New York but in each case, these are changed due to the presence of a new technology corporation: Leteo Institute in Happy and Death-Cast in They Both Die. But while a name for those who went through the Leteo procedure didn’t feature, there is a name for those who have gotten the call from Death-Cast: Decker. It struck me that when these types of neologisms come up— Cylons, Replicants, Muggles, Hobbits—they are no longer considered human by some even while their humanity is at the core of the story. What does the term Decker mean?

AS: The term Decker is a sort of slang for someone whose fate is “on the deck.” And vocabulary evolving is a natural part of the world changing. The distinctions for deckers felt urgent and heartbreaking. It’s literally a word that someone can personally identify as for less than a day. 

AdM: You have a gift for writing friends that are both intensely loving and fiercely, painfully honest. Will you talk about creating these characters? 

AS: I love when my friends keep it real. When we confront each other and say uncomfortable things, even if it stirs some conflict. We’re most honest with the people we love the most because we want the best for them.

AdM: Speaking of friends…the book ones count, too! I’m so excited to see a reprisal of The Scorpius Hawthorne books. It’s also interesting to see them pop-up even though the speculative worlds of Happy and They Both Die are different ones. I had even heard a rumor you had plans to put them in History. Should we keep our eyes out for them in future books?

AS: Im so happy this Easter egg made its way back in too! And yes, the character Dhonielle in History got cut because I failed to give her the depth she needed to read as a convincing character. But Scorpius Hawthorne was invented as a fun play on Harry Potter and if I write more grounded speculative novels, I think I’ll continue to sneak in this fake saga about the demonic boy wizard. Even if it’s a one-liner.

AdM: If we had forever to talk, I’m sure I could come up with a million questions. Fortunately for us, you’ve got to get back to writing your next effort. For now, though, what question are you hoping someone asks you about this book? And what’s your answer? 

AS: I’d love for someone to ask me if they actually die at the end and I’ll tell them to read and find out.  🙂

A very special thank you to Adam Silvera for joining us today. If you want to follow his writing exploits, please follow him on twitter at @AdamSilvera as he’s likely to give a heads up on touring, writing sprints, and sneak peeks of his writing. Oh, and buy this book. All of his books. And tissues. Trust me. You’ll need tissues. 

Before you go…we also have an opportunity for you to win it below! Enter now and win an ARC of this gorgeous and devastating book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alex claims to read more than any normal, healthy adult should though the rest of the Binge on Books team would beg to differ. You can read all of his reviews here.

Connect with Alex on Twitter: @Alex_deMorra

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World Literature: The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel

The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel

Published by: New Vessel Press

Format: Softcover

Genre: World Literature

Order at: Publisher | Amazon | B&N 

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: Remember that old lover—you know the one—that one. The one who should have treated you better. Well, guess what? Twenty-seven years later, when you’ve become all that, they’ve become the post-it on the bottom of your shoe. Except, knowing this doesn’t feel quite as good as expected and, unfortunately, much of what you’ve become is based on the short time you’d spent together. Now what? Read More

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Queer Fiction review: Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom

Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom

Published by: Metonymy Press

Format: PDF

Genre: Queer Fiction

Order at: Publisher

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: An own voices story of finding self, family, and love (in that order) as told by a young, fierce, escape artist, also known as an Asian trans girl, poet, fighter, ghost-friend, and owner of a fabulous pair of red shoes.  Read More

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Contemporary Sports Romance Review: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer

Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer

Published by: Riptide Publications

Format: epub

Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

Order at: Publisher

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: One disciplined, closeted, focused diver is reluctantly paired with a happy-go-lucky savant who doesn’t appreciate his own talent.

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Contemporary Romance Novella review: Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

Title: Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

Published by: Dreamspinner Press

Format: epub

Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella

Order at: Publisher  |  Amazon  |  B&N

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: More suspense than romance, this is a slow reveal of love and anguish between two men who have known each other before. Read More

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YA Graphic Novel Review: My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Published by: Pantheon (May 2nd)

Format: Softcover

Genre: YA/LGBT+

Order at: Publisher  |  Amazon  |  B&N

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: A beautifully crafted graphic novel of a straight, divorced, single father Yaichi, who is confronted by the life and loss of his twin brother, Ryoji, after Ryoji’s mourning widower Mike stays with them at Yaichi’s young daughter’s unexpected invitation.  Read More

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Queer Literature Review: Outside the XY, edited by Morgan Mann Willis

Outside the XY edited by Morgan Mann Willis

Published by: Riverdale Avenue Books

Format: mobi

Genre: Queer Literature

Order at: Publisher | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: Transformational, own-voice, bite-sized exploration within queer black and brown experience via writing of the highest quality. Read More

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Erotic Fiction review: Submission Gift by Solace Ames

Submission Gift by Solace Ames

Published by: Carina Press

Format: mobi

Genre: MMF Erotic Fiction

Order at: Publisher  |  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: I can’t…I’m still fanning myself…hold on…OMG…two dudes, one chick … a lot of sex (MM, MF, MMF), a fair amount of dominance, some sadism, and at least one salsa dance. Read More

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Contemporary Sports Romance Review: Play Dead by Avery Cockburn

Play Dead (Glasgow Lads # 3.5) by Avery Cockburn

Published by: Self-Published

Format: mobi

Genre: Contemporary Sports LGBTQ+ Romance

Order at: Goodreads

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: It’s late at night and you want something just so…unghf…and hmmm…and aargh…and maybe opposites/enemies-to-lovers…needs to be hot…(scroll, scroll, scroll)… nothing else seems right but you open this one — and surprise, surprise, it hits all the sweet spots. Read More

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