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BookTok Book Review: They Both Die at The End

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that TikTok has the power to revolutionize pop culture, dictating what is popular in many different areas due to its various viral trends on all corners of the app. From dancing videos, skincare, fashion and beauty advice, the app is known to have something for everyone, no matter interest or age.

The latest corner of the TikTok universe is “BookTok,” where content creators and consumers share their passion for books through reviews and general discourse. True to its nature, TikTok has revolutionized the publishing industry with BookTok — older books have become best-sellers again, authors have shot to fame, and more people are realizing that reading isn’t so boring after all.

I have personally always enjoyed reading; books have been my safe place since I was a child. However, as life got busy, I stopped reading as much… until I stumbled across BookTok in May 2021. Like every other side of TikTok, BookTok has trends, popular books, and not-so-popular books. And so, for the last couple of months, I have read my way through a lot of “BookTok’s most recommended.” I came to the conclusion that the books being recommended on BookTok were a hit or miss — some absolutely incredible and some utterly overhyped.

Book-buying is an expensive hobby, so allow me to save you some time. Welcome to Reading BookTok Books So You Know Which Ones Are Worth It with Roshni!

They Both Die at the end – Adam Silvera

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera was one of the first BookTok books that I read. It plagued my FYP for weeks, with many reviews saying that the book absolutely broke them. Naturally, I ran to Indigo and bought it, because when people say a book broke them, you run to Indigo and read it!

The book is set in a dystopian world, where Death-Cast calls individuals to tell them that they are going to die within 24 hours. Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio are both told they are going to die today. They are strangers but are looking for a friend on their Last Day — good thing there’s an app for that, so they’re able to meet. The book follows their last day on earth and their last adventure, where they live a lifetime in a single day.

The book has multiple character points of view and is separated not by chapters, but by time and perspectives — a visual for the clock ticking down to their inevitable death. While reading this book, it was hard for me to understand why it was so popular. The characters are detailed but lacked a certain complexity. The writing and dialogue felt like a slightly elevated version of a Wattpad book and while the story moved fast, it also felt unbelievably dragged on at the same time. Simply put, the book wasn’t gripping, and for the majority of it I found myself having absolutely no opinion — it wasn’t good or bad, it was just there.

This held true until the last 50 pages, where — out of nowhere — my heart suddenly became involved. It was at this point when unexpectedly I found myself becoming emotionally attached to the characters and praying for a happy ending, even though I knew where their fate lay. As it gets closer to the end of the day, there are scenes that hurt and their final moments with friends and family were some of them. They were beautifully tragic and surprisingly well written.

There is not much to take away from a book where the main characters die, yet somehow their fate could be seen as a cautionary tale. Throughout the book, there are small pockets of wisdom and constant reminders to live every day as if it was your last, which was beautiful and much needed. Adam Silvera uses these moments to remind us that death shouldn’t be feared, life is precious and to hold the people you care about close.

Overall, my opinion on the book hasn’t changed greatly from when I was reading it. They Both Die At The End was a decent book, especially if you want to get back into reading. It is undoubtedly an easy read but definitely does not hold up to its hype. I do not think it’s worth running to Indigo to buy, and I certainly did not feel broken after reading it. That being said, there is no harm in reading it and seeing for yourself!

Roshni Khatri

Carleton '24

Roshni Khatri is a self proclaimed fangirl, University student and aspiring Music Industry professional based in Ottawa and Toronto! She is passionate about books and music. She is an avid advocate for fans, fan engagement and fandom. A lover of sunsets, sunflowers, reading, crystals and coffee, Roshni is notorious for romanticizing life and being the most authentic version of yourself!
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