They Both Die at the End

Final Summary:

Total Hours to Read: 3 ½

--Average pages per minute: 1.72

Sex/Romance: No sex scenes (but mention of sex and masturbation and some sexual jokes), and not a ton of romance, but there are a couple homosexual and bisexual relationships.

Language: Yes, there is a fair amount of language including a good handful of f-bombs.

Violence: There is some violence including gang violence, beatings, bombing, threatening with a gun, and various deaths.

Thoughts: This was a beautiful story that drew me in, kept me engaged, and really hit home by making me confront my possibly unexpected yet imminent mortality.

I don't know about you, but when I imagine my death I usually plan on being prepared for it. Old age or whatever will come for me only after I've fully prepared a will, gotten all my affairs perfectly in order, and done absolutely everything I could hope for. This book really hit home with repeated reminders that death most often comes completely unexpected and waits for no man (or woman, unfortunately).

I found the premise of the book to be bold and unflinching: What if every person knew when they would die within the next 24 hours? As such this book confronts a difficult topic and does it in a serious and touching manner. I often had to pause my reading and remind myself that I wasn't dying in the next 24 hours (or was I?) and just breathe for a minute and re-center myself. It is a hefty concept that can weigh rather heavily on the reader. (<<<Slight spoiler but not really>>> There is no part of the plot where the main characters take down DeathCast or find a loophole on how to survive beyond their 24-hour heralds. <<<End slight spoiler>>>)

The author's choice to incorporate other people's stories where they intersected with our main characters' was unexpected and yet very appreciated. It compounded the tragedy of the whole story, reinforced that "no man is an island," and gave an added depth to the world.

My only real issue was with the voice of the character Rufus. It felt to me that Rufus had a lot of excess slang shoved into his vocabulary. To me it came across like an old, white man just didn't know how to write a younger man of color and so just shoved in some outdated slang that he didn't fully understand in an attempt to make him more "street", which is very odd because the author is actually fairly young and was born in the Bronx.

Overall the story was touching and thought-provoking for many reasons.

In the end: 4 out of 5 stars and please excuse me while I go reevaluate how I'm living my life...

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