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  • Writer's pictureZoe Schuldrenfrei

What is BookTok and They Both Die At The End Review

"Maybe it's better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs."

Recently when I was in the local Barnes and Noble, I stumbled across a table with many familiar books under the label “The Most Popular BookTok Books”. “BookTok” is a play on words of the app TikTok, which uses algorithms to push out videos of different genres depending on past videos you have viewed. A while back, I ended up on “BookTok” and quickly became enamoured with the many book recommendations. Actually, because of the increasing popularity of this new side of TikTok, sales of books like They Both Die At The End written by Adam Silvera, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and We Were Liars written by E. Lockhart shot up.

So, once I found this table at Barnes and Noble, I had to make a large dent in my wallet and buy every single one of them. They cover multiple genres, such as fantasy, romance, thriller and mystery. In order to test out if the books from “BookTok” are really worth the read, I read They Both Die At The End and, so far at least, I can assure that these books are worth it.

They Both Die At The End is a dystopian novel that deals with love, loss, life and death. The story takes place in New York City but in an alternate reality in which the government has technologically advanced so much that they will be able to tell you the day that you die. However, the authorities do not know the exact time or the cause.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Before their “End-Days” (their last days alive), they were complete strangers with completely different backstories. On their last day, they both want to make a new friend to accompany them on a thrilling journey.

The good news is that there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their friendship deepens. Short third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life.

This novel is heart-wrenching and tear-jerking, and matters of morality and the meaning of life frequently confront the characters. The teens discover that this simple dichotomy between focusing on living and focusing on dying isn’t as clear-cut as they’d like to think. Though the goal of their day is to get as much life experience as they can, the possibility of death lurks around every corner. They Both Die At The End contains many profound lessons. They Both Die at the End is not an easy read, knowing how it ends, but in reality, that is life. We all die at the end.

As Mateo and Rufus discover, what matters is how we spend the time that we have. We are not born to die. We have so much to experience in our lifetimes, and Mateo and Rufus show us that we should not waste one moment of that time. The title of They Both Die At The End may tell the readers what they should expect; however, there's a thrilling, meaningful journey before the emotional end that will inspire teens to live bigger and better.

From "books that will make you sob" to "books I couldn't put down,"

“BookTok” has so far given me an amazing book recommendation. On this side of TikTok, we will also find relatable content as it is a popular social media platform and has been creating viral trends for many different people. For those who can't decide what to read next, #BookTok is the place to go. From "books that will make you sob" to "books I couldn't put down," you'll find a variety of book lists and videos recommending different books to read. Other books such as S. by J. J. Abrams, the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, and the duology beginning with the Six of Crows, which Netflix turned into an original series, may also suit you. It is important that we have a place where people of all ages can share their love for reading.


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