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Date Posted: 14:06:21 03/21/21 Sun
Author: Jake!!
Subject: BTW: I read "They Both Die At the End"
In reply to: Mike 's message, "Thanks. I'll check it out. I am somewhat familiar with the original tale through Stephen Fry's fascinating book, Mythos." on 09:58:27 03/21/21 Sun

Thank you for the recommendation, it was an absolutely great read. I can't stop thinking about it. So much so that it finally gave me the push to come out to some of my closest friends.

I'm not sure why the message of the book clicked with me so hard, after all "YOLO" is a pretty cliche concept, but it really did. Mateo and Rufus' journey together will stick with me. The plot details will fade but I'm really glad I've bought this book so I can revisit them if I want to. I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready to yet though. That was such a sad thing.

I think what really got me Mike is that in the book it presents a grounded setting where what comes after is not guaranteed or known. The frank discussion in the book between Rufus and Mateo about the existence of an afterlife and Mateo's idea which I've heard before that we aren't truly dead until we're forgotten by those who loved us is powerful but it is also sad.

When I was fifteen my Mom's best friend died in a car accident unexpectedly. I was the one who broke the news to my Mom. This person who died was like a second Mom to me. Ever since them whenever anyone leaves my presence I always have a worry at the back of my head that they might not come back.

The thought occured to me that lasting trauma from this might be why I'm the way I am. I want people to like me and it eats me up whenever people are upset at me. Why I was always so worried about telling my friends about my sexuality. Since our friendship never revolved around sex, I always figured it didn't matter me telling them because it had the risk of making them leave me.

I don't know. I also really liked the representation in the book. Silvera nails how a lot of my closest friends talk. A lot of my friends grew up in cities and speak like Rufus and his friends. I think that representation adds a level of authenticity that is important to the story and other authors could learn from. Nailing how young people talk is difficult of course, but it was good to see representation for nerdy people speaking in slang.

"I'm biking toward that Mateo kid's house. He better not be a serial killer or so help me...Nah, he's chill. It's obvious he spends way too much time in his head and is probably too antisocial for his own damn good. I mean, check this: I'm legit gonna pick him up from his house, like he's some prince stuck in a high tower in need of rescuing. I think once the awkwardness is out of the way he'll make for a solid partner-in-crime." - Rufus, pg 85. (Kindle Edition)

"I'm on your turf, dude," Rufus says. "If anyone should be suspicious, it's me. This better not be some fake sheltered-kid act, yo." - Rufus, pg 90. (Kindle Edition)

I know people who talk exactly like this, or close. I haven't really been into reading YA fiction for awhile but I can't remember many stories nailing this kind of authentic character voice. Adam Silvera's experience being a nerdy kid growing up in the Bronx is really reflected in his work and I think that is really cool.

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