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They Both Die at the End
By Adam Silvera

Discussed April 2021

Buy They Both Die at the End from

Character List/Diagram


  1. Did you finish the book?  Did you enjoy it – why or why not?
  2. Did you cry when you finished the book? Be honest.
  3. Did you expect the title to actually be accurate? Did it color your reading of the book? If you thought it was intended to be misleading, at what point did you realize it's exactly what it says on the tin?
  4. Worldbuilding: What do you think about the worldbuilding – with industries and apps catering to those experiencing their Last Day? Does it make sense that a commercial  economy would develop out of a service that predicts your death?
  5. Worldbuilding: Following on that, are you satisfied with the lack of explanation of how Death Cast works? Would a definitive explanation add to or detract from the story?
  6. Worldbuilding: In the world of the book, DeathCast is a relatively new thing.  Is the level of its acceptance into society and popular culture realistic?
  7. Themes: Each of the sections of the book starts with a quote.  How well do these quotes express the theme(s) that Silvera is trying to write about?  Did you feel they added or detracted from the power of the story itself?
  8. Themes: What are the themes Silvera is focused on in the story?
  9. Themes: Silvera finds ways to tie a myriad of characters together through brief interactions and the weaving of moments that leave legacies *and* impact events – for example, Mateo's gifting of his sneakers to another young man years ago.  Did you find the interconnections interesting or valuable?  Did they add or detract from Mateo and Rufus's story and the themes Silvera was striving for?
  10. Characters: Mateo's story starts and ends in his home. How has he changed throughout the story? Is dying at home a step back for him after Rufus pulled him out of his shell?
  11. Characters: Rufus' story starts with him assaulting another young man. How did that color your initial perception of him? Did your opinion change as you read the book? What events changed how you thought of Rufus?
  12. Characters: The book is interspersed with chapters from other characters' POV, some of whom are just one-offs. Do they add to the story or do they distract from Mateo's and Rufus' stories? What other characters stood out particularly to you?
  13. Would you subscribe to Death Cast if it were available? How do you think it would affect your outlook on life? How might you react if you got the call? How would you spend your last day?
  14. HBO is set to make a miniseries adaptation of this book. Do you think it will translate well to screen? What elements might have to be modified for a successful adaptation?
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