What’s it about:
Two teenage boys (with some *cough* emotional baggage) find out that they’re going to die sometime over the course of the day (magic of Death-Cast, don’t ask me!). But they end up having the time of their lives when they discover each other through an app called Last Friend that allows the dying to make one last friend. And as is usually with books that are described as “life affirming” or “heartbreaking” or “an emotional roller-coaster”, this one too has a lot of heavy touchy-feely bits. It’s pretty much the Young-Adulting for Dummies!
What I thought:
It didn’t break my heart. It didn’t even give me the tingles.
Maybe I’m too old for this (at 27!) or maybe I’m just cold inside, but I really really wished that this book had adult protagonists. That would have lent much more gravitas to this otherwise simplistic narrative that never goes anywhere outside of where you expect it to. Yes, the boys are queer and yes they fall in love just moments before death knocks on their door, and yet I wasn’t shook. I just had an “oh okay then” moment and was happy to be done.
Part of the blame could be laid on the characters. Mateo and Rufus are so very cookie cutter that the sense of deja vu completely washes out any trace of empathy. Even the deeply personal moments don’t ring up an emotion. And you know there’s something wrong with the writing when a first person narrative fails to get you into the heads of your characters.
All this but credit has to be given where due, so I’ll say the premise was fantastic. And the world-building was authentic and on point. I liked the little segues into other characters’ lives and how it all intertwines at the end. I liked the clever red-herring, though the author wastes too much time to make it work. And that is pretty much all I got.
In the end, this is definitely a good book but if you’re out looking for LGBT reads, there are much better ones to choose.
young-adult, queer-protagonists, death, family, loss, friendship, self-acceptance, overcoming-your-fear, finding-love-in-a-hopeless-place