No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. – Steve Jobs.
Ok, that title tells you exactly what is going to happen. Major spoiler alert!! One might think because you know how it ends that the story would lose some of its emotion, its spontaneity, Well let me tell you as someone who sobbed her way through 80% of this book and straight up bawled my eyes out for a decent chunk, the emotion is still there.
In a world where you get a death call on the day your going to die, you can live in fear or just keep living. FYI – I would be such a hermit and if I got the call I probably wouldn’t leave my bed. Mateo and Rufus have never met, the only thing they seem to have in common is their age and their gender. Today they both get the call, today they are both going to die. They connect via an app that brings people who are dying together. It brings Mateo, a paranoid, fearful, lonely young man together with Rufus, a rough, sweet, loyal guy. They couldn’t be more different, but they could also be exactly what the other needs to live their final day, to wrap up loose ends, to feel content and maybe even feel loved. (I’m not crying, your crying.)
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, I don’t want to give to much away. I will say that the writing is superb, there are no cheap shots to get a reaction from the reader, every conversation, every event all ties together to bring this story to life, to fill you with emotion, to fill you with love, to fill you with the desire to live every day. Stop and notice the beauty around you, see the things you take for granted, hug those you love a little tighter and just be kinder, to those around you and yourself.
Some of my favourite quotes –
The number one person I’ll miss the most is Future Mateo, who maybe loosened up and lived. It’s hard to picture him clearly, but I imagine Future Mateo trying out new things, like smoking pot with friends, getting a driver’s license, and hopping on a plane to Puerto Rico to learn more about his roots. Maybe he’s dating someone, and maybe he likes that company. He probably plays piano for his friends, sings in front of them….. But I will never grow up to be Future Mateo. No one will ever get high with me, no one will be my audience as I play piano and no one will sit shotgun in my dad’s car after I get my license.
“This isn’t about karma. I’m not trying to rack up I’m-a-Good-Person points.” You shouldn’t donate to charity, help the elderly cross the street, or rescue puppies in the hopes you’ll be repaid later. I may not be able to cure cancer or end world hunger, but small kindnesses go a long way.
“I don’t know every detail about his past. But what I’ve gotten out of him in one day is more than I feel like I ever deserved.”
You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.
This is a beautifully written story, it has something for everyone. Yes its a YA contemporary, but the themes are for everyone. It’s a book I want to shove in everybody’s face until they agree to read it. It was beautiful, endearing, heart breaking and hopeful.