They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Publisher: Simon & Schuester
Release Date: 7th September 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Goodreads

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When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression. 

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.

Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love… 

This is the first Adam Silvera novel where I haven’t cried, which is sad in itself because I love it when I cry at Adam Silvera novels. You’re supposed to cry; you’re supposed to have emotion pouring out of you. So while I enjoyed They Both Die At The End, there was always a small voice in the back of my head wondering why I don’t have butterflies in my stomach and my eyes not on the verge of tears.

I loved both Mateo and Rufus and how distinct their voices were. They definitely complimented each other and would have loved to see their relationship evolve, but I think it would have felt a little more realistic if maybe there was a bit more time in between them meeting and falling in love? I already had to suspend my disbelief with Death-Cast which, I really couldn’t, and it glared out at me while I was trying to concentrate on other part of the stories.

I want to point how happy I was when I found out that Rufus was bisexual. This isn’t a spoiler, a character’s sexuality isn’t a spoiler or a plot reveal, but it was so lovely to see the word used, to have a character to say that they are bisexual and to be proud and wear the label on their sleeve without any ‘I don’t use labels’ or ‘I’m just fluid’. Sometimes, people are bisexual, and characters who allude to be don’t say it enough in canon. So thankyou Adam Silvera. BISEXUAL VISIBILITY! *raises fist*

Great third novel by one of my favourite authors. But not my favourite novel by one of my favourite authors.

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 9th February 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Gooodreads

OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means…

25014114I don’t read a lot of sad because because surprise, they make me sad. I don’t like feeling sad; I often feel sad for no reason anyway…I don’t need to make more room in my life for things to make me feel sad. And you would think I would think logically when picking up an Adam Silvera book because guess what, THEY’RE SAD.

But I love everything about Adam Silvera’s writing because it’s so realistic, and I often latch onto his characters and find something relatable about them. In this case, it was the main character’s jealousy. This has happened before in other books like Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins and Solitaire by Alice Oseman because there’s just something overwhelming powerful in a book when it feels like it’s talking directly to you.

Not to mention while I was feeling all these things, MORE feelings were piled on. It’s not a spoiler to say that the story involves funerals and grieving and memories and it just HURTS SO MUCH. I had to keep taking breaks. Trust me, there were funny parts, and really lovely parts that didn’t make me burst into tears, but to summarize this book into one word would be; heart-wrenching.

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: June 2015
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Goodreads
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Plot: In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

I don’t think I’ll be able to stress enough how important and different this book is.

Set in a near future New York in the Bronx, a boy realizes he’s gay in a world where that isn’t acceptable. In this place, there is no hope for him, and the only way to solve it is for him to bury it with the technology to wipe his memories.

This is a sci-fi way of basically saying how dangerous conversion therapy is, and how it does not work.
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My heart bled for Aaron, who just wants to be happy. But where is happiness when you can barely afford to eat, have friends who you know can turn on you, in a neighborhood where shootings and stabbings are a weekly occurrence?

First of all, it was so refreshing to see a working-class character of colour. While POC are often portrayed as such, the characters were realistic, deep, and sympathetic (ok not all of them were). It wasn’t stereotypical, it was representation. The working-class aspect alone was diverse, because even within the community you still have some who are poorer than others, some who deal with it differently. Happiness is what you make of it, and in dark times, it’s hard to find. This was a story of true desperation, of a quick fix that just doesn’t work.

I’m sure it happens in the U.K too, but let’s focus on conversion therapy in the U.S. It’s really stupid, for one, layered with insecurities, desperation, isolation, and sometimes (but not all the time) religion. It’s deep rooted prejudice that makes a father send his son to a camp that makes him believe that what he feels is wrong. It’s a warped sense of what love is, because that’s all it is, it’s love. It’s not perversion or whatever the people in the documentaries call it (I told you in my last review I like watching docs about things I can’t understand, didn’t I?). The only way to deal with this is through education and compassion.

And hey, even if you still don’t ‘believe’ in homosexuality, whatever that means, your child should not be at the mercy of that opinion. Just…don’t send them to conversion camps. Don’t make them have therapy with an overpriced psychiatrist who’s literally spoon feeding you pseudo-science.

I loved this book. It’s sad, but it’s real. If you’re looking for a happy ending, it’s probably not here, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it!

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