Books · Dystopian · grief · lgbtqia content · new adult · part of series · sci-fi / fantasy · self-discovery · young adult

REVIEW: The First To Die At The End by Adam Silvera

 


In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon They Both Die at the End, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.

It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?

Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.

Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.

Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.

Told with acclaimed author Adam Silvera’s signature bittersweet touch, this story celebrates the lasting impact that people have on each other and proves that life is always worth living to the fullest.

 

THE FACTS

📕 Prequel to They Both Die At The End

📘 Multiple POVs

📙 sad, illness, disability

📗 always hopeful

 

THE PLOT

Death-cast is an organization that can predict when I person will die. This book goes back to the inception of the organization and focuses on the first call that is made that day the organization launches. A love story unfolds, with many complications. Through switching POVs, Silvera takes the reader on a journey that shows how we influence the lives of those around us.

 

THE GOOD BITS

I was definitely intrigued when I read that Adam Silvera has written a prequel to They Both Die At The End. For obvious reasons, a prequel seemed the path to go given the rather emotional trajectory of the first book.

I really enjoyed this book even though I wasn’t sure that I would. Lately, I’ve read a few sequels that have been a bit disappointing; this book does not disappoint. While the focus of the first book was clearly on the two MCs who receive calls from Death-Cast – this prequel focuses on a different relationship.

In New York City, on the night that Death-Cast goes live there are two young men in Times Square for completely different reasons. The night will change both of their lives. Orion, who lives with cardiomyopathy, is waiting for a heart transplant while still trying to live his life. Valentino is a young model fleeing a homophobic family and has moved to New York to live with his twin. When one of the young men is the very first “Decker” called by Death-Cast their lives become entangled.

What’s truly remarkable is the ripple effect of the evening’s events. Silvera has done a remarkable thing by allowing the reader to see the effect that two people’s actions can have on those who they come into contact with, no matter how brief those encounters are.

I found that the multiple POVs were managed well – although there were a few times I found that I didn’t like being taken away from the Orion/ Valentino story. I did enjoy the way all of the supporting character’s tales wove in and out of Orion and Valentino’s lives.

One of the things I found a little disappointing was that more wasn’t revealed about the creation of Death-Cast. Even though Silvera takes us into the mind of the creator of Death-Cast and some employees, we have no more information about it than we did before.

I’ve read an interview with Silvera in which he says he knows how Death-Cast works and has passed the idea on to a couple of people in case something happens to him! Hopefully, we will learn more when there’s another in the series.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. The relationship between Orion and Valentino was fast-paced but then once you know your time is limited why wait? This book is quite emotional. Even though I knew what was coming, I still found the end of the book to be quite sad. I will say one thing for Silvera though, he always managed to give the reader some hope.

 

DIDN’T WORK FOR ME

I’m not sure that Orion’s thoughts about his disability always resonated for me. I’m not sure if Silvera has personal experience  living with a disability, but that could be it. Orion was portrayed as being pessimistic and sort of constantly running an internal monologue about how tragic his life was. Was this just the mind of a teenager or was this a poor portrayal of a person with a disability. My experience with disability is that it often pushes people to be more optimistic and hopeful. Personal preference though.

THE LINKS

🖊 Author

🖊 Goodreads

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I received an ARC of The First To Die At The End by Adam Silvera from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

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