Official summary from goodreads:
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.
“No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”
WOW, this book wrecked me. I honestly did not expect it to because books that are meant to be sad do not normally make me sad, if that makes any sense. I also didn’t expect it because I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book for the first 30ish percent. Either way, this book was determined to break my expectations and it did I pretty good job of doing so.
Let’s Chat: Plot and World Building
Imagine getting a phone call at midnight telling you that you will die within the next 24 hours, despite the fact that you are seventeen or eighteen years old and perfectly healthy. That is what happens to Mateo and Rufus, and the book follows what the pair decide to do with their “end day.”
The premise of this plot is absolutely terrifying and anxiety inducing. If this book made me glad of anything, it is that Death Cast is not a real thing. I wouldn’t be able to handle knowing that I was somehow going to die, especially if no one could tell me how I would be dying unless it was something obvious like a terminal illness. My own personal anxiety set aside, the idea of Death Cast is fascinating. I mean, like, wow. I loved seeing the little glimpses of how society had adapted to this sudden breakthrough. The last friend app, the blogs and forums where people can record their last days, the new businesses that sprung up designed to let people do thing they cannot do safely on their last day. It all seemed very realistic and the explanations of the changes seemed to come naturally, there were no huge info dumps anywhere.
This book is not really plot driven at all, it is definitely more character driven. This originally made the book hard for me to read, which is why I wasn’t the biggest fan of it for the first 30 or so percent. I just tend to not be into character driven contemporaries. Nonetheless, I’m very glad I stuck with it because I loved the characters after I got to know them a little better!
Let’s Chat: Characters
“Mateo has never been good about sharing his own stuff, obviously, but you can always count on him to comment on your photo or show love to your status. If it matters to you, it matters to him.”
I loved Mateo from the first couple of pages, he was instantaneously relatable and it made the book a lot easier to get into than it would have been otherwise. I loved seeing Mateo come out of his comfort zone while still seeing how he stuck to his old principles, it was amazing.
Oh, Rufus. I started out this book with mixed and slightly negative feelings about Rufus given his actions during his first chapter. However, as the book went on and we got to know him better, I quickly started to like him more and more. By the end of the book, I loved him immensely and felt like he was a fully fleshed out and flawed character.
I loved Lidia! I loved Penny! I loved her and Mateo’s interactions! I loved it! Have I made my feelings clear yet? No? Lidia was a side character that did not get much content time, but I still loved her. Seeing her relationship with her daughter and how she was coping with previous loses only to lose Mateo on top of that broke my heart into five thousand pieces. I don’t know if it’ll ever be whole again.
The Plutos, man. I love them. I am a huge fan of the found family dynamic, so this group almost immediately broke my heart. Seeing the other Plutos stand up for Rufus? Loved it. Loved every second of it. I really wish we had gotten to see more of these characters.
Let’s Chat: Favorite Quotes
“Life isn’t meant to be lived alone.”
“A new memory to laugh over is just as good as reflecting on an old one, I think. It may be even better.”
“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.”
Let’s Chat: Overall Thoughts
I buddy read this with Brittany, from brittanythebookguru. Her review will be going up next week, and once it’s up, I’ll link it here. Buddy reading definitely added to my overall reading experience, I loved getting to discuss my frustration, happiness, and sadness with someone. Another big thing I enjoyed about this was the mental illness representation. The book made mental illness something that was normal and I loved and appreciated that so much. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves character driven stories or sad contemporaries!
Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, do you plan to read it? I’d love to chat about it in the comments!