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.
“This book was beautiful, powerful, and heartbreaking. It was determined to wreck me and even though I was determined to not let it, it did. I would highly recommend this book to basically everyone, even those who do not typically like contemporaries.”
You can read Arin’s full review here.
Rating: 3.25 stars
I think that a big reason for my average rating on this book is the hype surrounding Adam Silvera novels. Now, don’t get me wrong here… it’s a good book. His writing is awesome and his mind is clearly quite imaginative to come up with a such a frightening world. I’ve decided that I need to read some more of his work before I fully decide how I feel about him, but that’s not really the point of this post. The point is how I felt about the book. And that was…. it was alright.
Let me clarify. The beginning was drudgery for me. I have a really hard time with novels that start off slow because it quickly lowers my faith in the book as a whole. And this book drags in the beginning. The whole idea of Death-Cast and knowing when you’re going to die was immediately intriguing to me. I spent an absurd amount of time contemplating fate and the consequences of our every action thanks to this. The problem was, for me, the slow build in the first half. The whole story takes place over one day, so there’s a lot of crawling in the beginning. I felt like it took a long time for the boys to cross paths and an even longer time for anything exciting to happen. The book was actually kind of putting me in a bit of a reading slump (which I was already in and was attempting to get out of with this read) because the pacing was just not working for me. It also drove me insane that the boys didn’t do something more exciting with their last day, but hey, they were busy falling in love and saying goodbye to everyone, so I guess that’s understandable.
Now, the second half was much better. It kind of felt like out of nowhere the story just picked up and took off and I was so excited for it. I think I would’ve completely written this book off had the second half not been as great as it was.
The characters in this were phenomenal. I mean, Silvera creates a webbing that connects so many different people, even strangers, and it really blew my mind. I wouldn’t say that every character featured was developed a ton, but that wasn’t necessary for this type of story. Mateo and Rufus had pretty nice development, and that’s what mattered for this one. Mateo was extremely relatable for me because I am also a big bundle of anxiety who would rather stay home on any given day. I actually decided, though, that I liked Rufus best. At first, readers really get the wrong impression. With the first few chapters, I had already pegged him as someone I wouldn’t like, but that changed quickly when his fists stopped hitting people. He had a huge heart and cared about the people in his life so much and he really helped Mateo come to life outside of his apartment. It was amazing.
The bond between the two was great and I thought that the Last Friend to “Maybe we’d be boyfriends if we weren’t dying today” was a good dynamic, albeit literally ripping my heart out and stomping on it. Their romance was definitely a fast one, but that’s not really their fault, now is it?
Beyond the plot and the characters… this concept blew my mind. It really messed me up. I can’t stop thinking about how every single thing lead to another person’s death or how every action created a consequence for them or someone else. And it was honestly awesome how Silvera connected all of these random people who would be dying within the same 24 hours. I honestly cannot decide whether I’d want something like Death-cast to be a thing. I think it gives loved ones the chance to say goodbye, so that’s great, but isn’t it a bit… I don’t know, daunting?
So, in the end, it was a good overall read, but not at all what I expected. I’m interested to see what else Adam Silvera’s novels have to offer me.