Thursday, September 28, 2017

Short Reviews: Autoboyography and They Both Die at the End

Christina Lauren
Release: September 12, 2017
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Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I've been finished with this book for hours and I'm still dazed and in awe of it. It's one of those books that had me smiling like a goofball while making me a bit uncomfortable. It's a book with a ton of heart, love, pain, and wanting. It's one of the most beautiful and poignant books I've read this year. It has easily made it into my top five books of 2017.

I don't know the words to explain how important it is that a book like this exists. I grew up Mormon in a majority Mormon community similar to Provo. I had friends in a similar situation to Sebastian where they couldn't come out as gay/bisexual when we were in high school because we were Mormon and they didn't want to be rejected by everyone we knew and loved. They had a hard time accepting themselves for who they were and this book hit me hard even though over a decade has passed since I was in school. I was the bystander/confidant who could only watch my friends go through those heartbreaking situations but this book was so reminiscent of what they went through that it had me in tears for my friends again as well as the characters.

This is the book that I wish they could have had access to when we were teens and I'm so glad that teens now will have it. It was beautiful and emotional and I need everyone to read it! It also kind of broke me but in a good way. I had to remind myself multiple times while reading that my friends are happy now with who they are outside of the closet and I could only hope the characters would get to that point too. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about this book for a long time.

  5 / 5 Stars!

They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera
Release: September 5, 2017
New York Times bestselling author 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. 4 starred reviews!

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 and to live a lifetime in a single day.
In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”

They Both Die at the End is my first Silvera book and I can honestly say the hype behind his books is real. I loved this book even though it kind of broke me. It's a book about friendship and grief but also about life and living yours to the fullest. With a title like this one you'd expect the whole narrative to be sad and gloomy. And while it is sad, it's also a kind of happy one filled with love and hope. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book because I had to know if they were really going to die at the end. I won't tell you if they do or not, you'll have to read it for yourself.

Silvera takes a common premise like knowing you’re about to die and turns in into an adventure about two teenage boys who go on to live their last day in the best way possible. I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Mateo and Rufus were the perfect characters for this story and the friendship that develops between the two of them is what makes this book so special. Both boys' situations hit me hard but Mateo is the one who represents my biggest fear when I think about my own mortality. I don't ever want to have regrets for the things that I haven't done.

This book was an emotional roller coaster and made me feel a whole hell of a lot of things. And as cheesy as this sounds, it made me feel like I should be braver and really live my life more fully than I am now. I loved the way the idea of living for yourself and finding a way to make life count was talked about in this story. It was seriously beautifully done. They Both Die at the End is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you're done reading it. I can't wait to read more Adam Silvera books in the future.

P.S. I usually don't ugly cry but Bravo! Mr. Silvera for making me sob uncontrollably while reading this.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars


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