Tag: fiction

A Double Review of They Both Die at the End

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.  We both enjoyed it and I LOVED it! Kim read the physical book and I listened to the audiobook.

Author: Adam Silvera
Published: September 5, 2017
373 Pages

Book Description:

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

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.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: 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.


Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: May 13-17, 2019

Jessica’s Review:

I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons: The concept is unique and *spoiler alert* we know what is going to happen in this novel from the title, but it is not about the end of Mateo and Rufus’ lives, it is the journey they go on for their final day.

Imagine you live in a world where there is Death-Cast and you finally get that phone call.  What will you do? Will you stay at home attempting to avoid the end or will you live this day how you want as it actually is your last? They Both Die had me thinking about so many things as I Iistened to the audiobook. We never know when our time will end, and I decided that I would not want to live in a world that has Death-Cast.  I always go to worst case scenario and would not be able to ‘enjoy’ my last day and truly live it. I would be constantly worried if a certain situation would be the cause of my death.

Mateo and Rufus are total opposites and you grow to like them both. Even though we know what their ending will be and we don’t want  it to happen, we don’t know when or how in the day their lives will end or even if they will they die together or separately

There was so much more I wanted to know about this world that Mateo and Rufus live in.  I wanted to know the workings of Death-Cast and how it ‘knows’ who is going to die.  Normally this would have bothered me extremely, but  the point of the novel is Mateo and Rufus living their last day.  There is a little information given about Death-Cast but I would love to read the story of how it came into being.  I still have some questions I want to address:  What if somehow Death-Cast cannot get in touch with you and it is your day to die then will you still die?  Would you have still died if Death-Cast was not in existence or is your death because of Death-Cast?  Is receiving the Death-Cast call a self-fulfilling prophecy?  It was all this and more that had me thinking long after I was done with the novel.

There are three narrators for the audiobook: Robbie Daymond and also two of my favorites: Bahni Turpin and Michael Crouch. I will listen to just about anything those two narrate and the fact that they were both narrators in They Both Die was a big plus for me. 

I was leery about reading this as I wondered how emotional I would become knowing that we are going to lose both Mateo and Rufus.  I liked them and was rooting and hoping that somehow one or both would ‘beat the system’.  Fortunately I did not cry, but They Both Die stayed with in my thoughts for a few days afterwards with the many thoughts it leaves you with. 

They Both Die at the End is highly recommended.

Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Kim’s Review:

I have been dying to read this book since it was first published. I finally got it for my birthday this year. I’m all about unique reads and this book is incredibly unique. This book is all about the journey, not the destination. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because it did get a little slow at times. Other than that, this book was beautiful and full of feeling. The title literally tells you how this book ends, but I felt so much hope the entire time I was reading. Mateo and Rufus are gonna be the exception to the Death-Cast rule. All their friends hoped right along with me. I loved getting to know, not just the boys, but their families and friends too. I became so caught up in them and their histories and their emotions, all I wanted was to see these boys grow up and live to old age. Mateo’s father was what got me in the end. The poor man was in a coma through the whole book, and all I kept thinking was that he’d wake up and his son would be dead and he didn’t even get to say goodbye. I’ll admit it, I cried!

I also spent some time considering what I would do if I only had one day left to live. I even laid on my hammock and closely studied the colors of the sky and the leaves. This book definitely makes one feel and feel a lot! It was a wonderful reminder to live in the present and appreciate what we have. I definitely recommend it to just about anybody!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Author: Sara Flannery Murphy
Published: February 7, 2017
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

In an unnamed city, the Elysian Society allows paying clients to reconnect with their lost loved ones. The workers, known as bodies, spend their days in a numb routine, wearing the discarded belongings of the dead and swallowing pills to summon spirits.

Edie has been a body for five years, an unusual record. Her success depends on her carefulness. When she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, an enigmatic widower, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the strange circumstances surrounding Sylvia Braddock’s death, Edie pursues Patrick outside the Elysian Society walls, moving deeper into his life.

After years of hiding, Edie can’t tell whether she’s falling in love or whether she’s being possessed by Sylvia. She takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. But as a disturbing murder case brings attention to the Elysian Society, Edie feels her quiet life unraveling. She grapples with both Sylvia’s growing influence and with her own long-buried secrets.

Kim’s Review:

This is an interesting mystery. The premise of a company that allows people to legitimately communicate with their dead loved ones is fascinating and I wish there were more details about the lotus and the actual process. Edie is a different kind of character that I enjoyed learning more about throughout the story. I will say that I don’t really like the description where it says that once she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, that she becomes obsessed with the couple. That sounds so malevolent, when in reality, it wasn’t. Seeing how Edie cares not just for Patrick but for all her clients gives good grounding to the story.

The mystery felt very simple, like I should have figured it out long before I did. But it was still satisfying and everything clicked into place. The cover is perfect in every way! Overall, this was an interesting read that I enjoyed and got thru very quickly. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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After the Fire by Will Hill

Author: Will Hill
Published: October 2, 2018
464 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.

But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.

Then came the fire.

Kim’s Review:

Well, this book caused me to have an epiphany. But first, I’ll say that the only reason I gave this book 4 stars, is because I already read Minnow Bly and it’s so similar, that it took a little out of the reading. But I still loved this book so much! Now, back to my epiphany: I was raised in a cult. I don’t mean to make every review about myself, but part of the review process seems to be “how did this book affect me?” The main difference I saw between After the Fire and Minnow Bly was the realism factor. Minnow Bly was far more imagined, whereas After the Fire was based far more on real life events. It was easy to write off Minnow Bly as purely fiction. After the Fire was based on the Waco standoff, therefore it felt more based in reality.

Due to said realism, it was much harder to shrug off the similarities that kept popping up. Mostly, it was the manipulation. The tactics used by the Lord’s Legion were very similar to the tactics used by Bob Jones University. The idea of belonging and merit based on personal belief is the same. At BJU, your “spirituality” affected your status within the social and professional structure. If any perceived wrongdoing or disbelief was detected, it was dealt with swiftly and with no real winning on your part. I wasn’t allowed to go forward during any invitations at the end of services because my parents knew that if we confessed anything, it would stick to us throughout the rest of our BJU careers, however long that would be. It would also affect my parents professional standing. And that was the main similarity: our entire lives were so wrapped up in BJU, that if anything happened, if for whatever reason, my parents lost their jobs or we had to leave, our entire lives would be completely uprooted. Housing, education, childcare, jobs, insurance, social standing, church membership, everything. True, the Lord’s Legion used threat of violence to keep people in line, but they called into question one’s spiritual state, overall morality, and their place in the afterlife. Thankfully, BJU didn’t use violence, but they sure did love questioning spirituality and Christlikeness based on their own interpretations and opinions.

What made After the Fire unique and interesting, was the look into the coping and mental states of the survivors. The whole book was about Moonbeam and how she was “deprogrammed” and psychologically cleared after surviving the cult. Her experience during the fire was actually pretty predictable, which is another reason for the 4 stars. But the process she went through with Dr. Hernandez and Agent Carlyle was fascinating and in depth. And I loved the rapport that Moonbeam had with both men. I liked their father like roles. I also liked how Will Hill dealt with the elephant in the room in his Author’s Note: this book was not a condemnation of religion. I learned so long ago to separate Christ from Christians, so I never had to abandon my faith. He tried to focus on the psychological aspects and he went into good detail in the Author’s Note, enough that I felt very good about it. Overall, this was an interesting read and one that I would definitely give to older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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