Friday, September 15, 2017

Author Spotlight: They Both Die at the End + History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera - 4 Stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children's bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children's and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Title: They Both Die at the End
Genre: YA Contemporary/Sci Fi?
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: September 5th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

Let's face it. Adam Silvera likes to punch his readers straight in the heart. I have now read two books by him and both of them were so painful and raw. But in a good way? I put a question mark there because can pain ever really be good? They Both Die at The End even prepares you with the title! But it still hurts and it is still sad but there is also some precious and tender parts that just WABAM! right in the feels. Now I just need to go read More Happy than Not and I will have read everything by this man that likes to turn my heart into mashed potatos.

I would like to first point out that this book was freaky because it took place on September 5th, the same day the book was released, the same day I was reading the book. So the entire time I was reading the book Mateo and Rufus were living their last day. I kind of loved that it was present time. Made it feel kind of real even thought it was a contemporary book with fantastical elements.

Meteo gets THE CALL right after midnight. He has an entire day to live the rest of his life. So what does he do? He spends most of it hiding in his apartment CLEANING. That honestly sounds like something I would do. He was too scared to leave his house thinking that maybe if he stayed there then nothing bad can happen and he can beat death. But eventually, he finds a reason to leave his apartment. And that reason is...

Rufus also got THE CALL but a little bit later than Mateo. He didn't appreciate that very much. He also didn't appreciate life too much when he was able to live it. His parents and sister both died a little while back from a car accident. Rufus survived only to get THE CALL a few years later. He got the call in the middle of doing something illegal and that illegal act sends him away from his friends and home so he doesn't have anyone to spend his last day with. That is when he downloads a last day application on his phone and meets Mateo.

The two boys end up meeting up and they do a lot of last day activities together. They go visit Mateo's father who is in the hospital in a coma. That is a very emotional time. They go to a lot of 'last day' geared places where they can party or skydive or travel the world. I loved the ideas that some of these places had. I think my favorite part was when Rufus took Mateo to the Alice in Wonderland park thingy. But that has more to do with my obsession with AiW than anything else.

Throughout the day, Rufus is trying to get ahold of his friends so they can actually get on last goodbye. This entire book is so sad. How do you say goodbye to someone just like that? Knowing that someone is dying within the next 24-hours and there is no final-destination crap you can do to save them must really hurt. This is your last chance to say what you need to say and do everything you have ever wanted to do. But even with all the horrible things, Mateo and Rufus still managed to make the best of it all. 

By the time we reach the end of the book things start to look up and it looks like maybe the deathcast was wrong. We also get a little bit of romance which was super fricken cute but I won't ruin that part for you guys. Sadly, that romance sets something in motion. I don't think either party would ever regret it but it sucks that love can hurt you as much as it can heal you.

In the end, I found that I really enjoy Adam Silvera's books even though they hurt. A lot. Did I mention they hurt? Yeah... Ouch. I am kind of excited but kind of scared to read More Happy than Not now. If you haven't read anything by Adam Silvera then shame on you! Just kidding, but you should really look into remedying that. Also.. That ending... WHAT?! Ugh.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Title: History is All You Left Me
Genre: YA LGBTQ Contemporary with Mental Illness
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication: January 17th 2017
Cover Rating: 3/5

Love fucking hurts.

Honesty is the best policy, right? So here is some honesty. I picked this book up thinking it would just be a quick YA M/M relationship book with some sad parts. I didn't expect much more. But what I got, was a lot more. Yes, it has the M/M relationship but it is also about mental health and love and loss and a lot of pain. It is about trying to find your way back to happiness and some semblance of normality after your life has been turned upside down and shaken.

We have a few main characters. Griffin is the narrator then we have Theo, Wade and Jackson. Griffin, Theo and Wade are a threesome. The best buds group we see all over the place. Then things between Griffin and Theo change. The entire dynamic of the friendship changes, as well. Even though they both promised it wouldn't. 

So we have Theo and Griffin dating. Theo is older which means there are a lot of decisions to be made about the future. With the impending future, Griffin makes a choice that he thought would be best for the situation. I, personally, believe what Griffin did was very mature of him. Well, that was until the book progressed and I saw that what he did had some pretty negative effects on both boys. Mostly mental. And that leads to this horrible spiral downward with their friendship and any future plans they might have had. Jackson also had something to do with the future plans changing.

Something ends up happening to Theo that brings a lot of issues to the surface for Griffin. And we get to see that horrible spiral in his mental health that actually started long before Theo but became worse with the circumstances. Then you throw in Jackson, Theo's new boyfriend and Griffin clone. Yea, things get a little messy. And with this messy situation, Griffin just keeps making it worse. I hate what he did to his parents and his immaturity with thinking he NEEDS to do certain things. He thought he had his best interests in mind but he really wasn't mentally stable to say that.

I really don't like how Griffin dealt with his emotions. He just stuck his dick in stuff in order to try and push the negative and crazy thought aside. Obviously this didn't work too well for him. But I am proud of how he progressed by the end of the book and I really approve of the decisions he made regarding Wade and Jackson. And I also really loved the relationship everyone kept with Theos family. Just because your biggest connection to someone isn't there anymore doesn't mean you have to tuck tail and leave. A lot of people seem to think that a break up or death is an end to relationships you had with the other persons family. It doesn't need to be that way and it really shouldn't be like that. 

The ending took on a darker tone that I was expecting. A lot of blame goes around when someone dies from an accident. Normally, that blame and guilt is un-found and people just need to move on from that. Sometimes that grief and despair will destroy you if you let it run rampant. Even though the ending was dark and had a big plot twist situation, I still felt it was a proper way to put everything to rest. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.


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