They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera
GONG. GONG. GONG. GONG. GONG.
“The alert, a distinctive and endless gong, like a church bell one block away, is blasting from my
phone on the other side of the room. I’m freaking out already, a hundred thoughts immediately
drowning out everything around me. . . It’s crazy. One minute ago I was reading yesterday’s
blog entry from CountDowners . . . and now I’m going to die.”
This phone call is how 18-year-old Mateo Torrez learns that he has less than 24 hours to live. In
a near-future New York City, the Death-Cast service alerts people on the day they will die. They
don’t know exactly when or how they will die, but they know there is no way to escape death
Less than an hour later, 17-year-old Rufus Emeterio receives his phone call from Death-Cast.
Because of tragic losses earlier in their lives, both Rufus and Mateo find themselves alone, and
they use the Last Friend app to seek an End Day connection that leads them to each other.
Hesitant at first, the boys find adventures together and eventually grow closer than either of
Although we know that both Mateo and Rufus will, in fact, die at the end, it is easy to care for
these characters as they learn, together, how to live.
HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, September 5, 2017, 373 pages, HS.
Booktalk by Teresa Allen.