Review From User :
This book smelled like tears and self-sabotage.
And it's safe to assume that indeed, it was.
But then again, it's never been an option to walk out of an Adam Silvera's book and not feel a thing, since they're the kind of books that hold you tighly you can feel it seventy-two hours later. And they might also be the kind of books that will make you lie in bed, disintegrating into a pile of emotions and missing that one person you made eye contact with for two seconds on a public transportation five years ago and all of your feelings become just one giant bruise you just love to press on.
I've felt everything reading this book but mainly calm (as if my edges are blurring into the universe), and sad too I guess but the kind of sadness that is really just a gentle little smooch reminding you you're strong enough for this, where this stands for everything.
I know people will experience this book in vastly different ways, but I've experienced it in a very personal way which is why this is probably one of the most personal reviews that I've ever written.
....'you're supposed to be a lifer.'
Now. Imagine getting a call, at midnight, telling you that you have less than 24 hours to live. Twenty four hours to get through everything that you wanted to do. Twenty four hours to be all the people you were supposed to be before you could become yourself. Twenty four hours to grow out of phases and mindsets before you could learn where exactly your shift in identity is going. Twenty four hours to rewrite the diaries that have been written in invisible ink until that moment. Twenty four hours to make the memories of a lifetime.
How cruel and unthinkable is that I mean, we all know that we're just a temporary fixture in the vastness of the universe and that life is only a few seconds at a time and all the appreciation of it in the world won't allow you to hold onto it forever, but imagine having a conscious awareness of how many numbers exactly those seconds encompass, like being trapped in a giant hourglass which threatens to suffocate you with sand.
Think of all the many strangers' stories you won't get the chance to make into, the many versions of yourself that you won't become, the many places that you've yearned to visit but won't be able to set foot in, the many people that will impact your life but you won't get the chance to meet, the many life views that you would've learned and the ones that you would've eventually unlearned, the many unpublished books that you would've ranted to your friends about for an irritably long amount of time and the many unreleased songs that you would've exhaustively listened to.
'I can't go on being the kid who keeps his head low because all that did was rob and being out there with you- maybe I could have met some of you sooner.'
Think also of the many happy memories you've denied yourself because you lied and said you were busy and the many people you could have had amazing chemistry with but your first impression of them was wrong and you wrote them off. The many opportunities to reinvent yourself that you've missed out on because you thought it was too late to shape yourself into who you wanted to be or because you let yourself be paralyzed by the crippling fear of failure and be pulled into a cycle of stagnation and lack of motivation to do anything which might actually push you forward towards your goals.
The many memories that didn't make it to your journals and how many times you've thought 'I will remember this' only you've completely forgotten about it because as much as you hate to acknowledge it, the temporary can't be immortalized and the memories you're trying so hard to repress are the ones that shine the brightest.
Think of the many years that you've wasted on hate and grudges and meaningless conversations and relationships that have no longevity and no longer positively affect your life. And the many true friendships that you've taken for granted because you were too busy expanding energy on people you would just gossip and smoke and go out with, when you could have been busy making polaroid pictures with friends you can cry with, friends you can go get breakfast with, friends you can talk about books and music and things that matter with, friends who will support your life goals and call you out on problematic shit and motivate you and believe in you.
'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.'
Think of the many times you were scared to call others out or stayed away from controversial topics because your hands shook at the notion of confrontation and your throat closed up at the thought of sticking your neck out for your beliefs, and your heart threatened to burst out of your collarbone at the possibility of losing friends and family and safety for choosing to align yourself with causes and the many times your head has hit that pillow at night only to be plagued by the nagging thoughts of 'what ifs'.
I think we go through life wired to only appreciate the Big Moments so much more than small individual moments that build up to bigger things. We're made to believe that we're supposed to be alive for better reasons than just having a dog curling against your feet and a cat purring on your lap. And it's like living to just constantly impress the world, and strive to make your "special moments" compete with other people's moments, worrying yourself sick whether your life has more or less meaning than theirs. And before you know it, you've already trapped yourself in high expectations that you've created out of a collage of other people's lifetime achievements which you expect yourself to live up to... When you could just be living for the very few things that still make your heart warm and glowy even if they're small and inconsequential and transient.
'I've spent years living safely to secure a longer life and look where that's gotten me. I'm at the finish line but I never run the race.'
They Both Die at the End made me really realize that I have no clue for how much longer I'm going to live in the world and exist in it. That really, I'm living day by day but I have literally no idea what I'm doing or where any of this is leading and how long this is actually going to last.
But mostly, it made me worry about the older version of me and it made me realize that I truly owe her some semblance of a past, I think. I owe her some memories of some type of happiness and contentment.
So perhaps it was that very note that Adam Silvera wrote at the beginning or maybe it's Rufus and Mateo's story, maybe it had nothing to do with this book, maybe it was the build up of many reasons and circumstances but the next day after reading this book was also the day I came out to my best friend.
I guess this is my way of saying that this book meant a lot to me and it will forever have a place on my pillow.
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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 and to live a lifetime in a single day.