Wow. I'm not sure where to start with this one. It's one of those stories that will stick with me for a long time. This is a story of love, grief, fear, guilt, bravery, and everything in-between. It all starts when two teenage boys, Mateo and Rufus get the call at 1 am that this is their final day on earth. Deathcast is a service that lets you know when it's your day to die. And with those 24 hours, you live your life to the fullest. So the two boys meet using an app that lets you connect with others who also die on that day.
Rufus and Mateo become best friends and eventually fall in love. This story takes place within a span of 22 hours, and it feels like a lifetime. Mateo is a shy loner who slowly comes out of his shell, and Rufus is a rough street kid from a foster home who learns to feel the softness of life again. Their opposite personalities compliment each other well, and the soft burn romance that develops between them comes off pretty vague at first, but once Rufus reveals he is bisexual, it's not hard to catch on to the chemistry. Some readers felt that the romance between the boys was forced or unnecessary. And maybe the story would've been just as amazing without it, but i think it added to the tragedy of them losing each other. And don't get me started on the way they observed and spoke of one another. Rufus was so gentle with Mateo and I'm a sucker for a tough guy with a heart of gold. Especially when they are given a great character arc. Rufus wasn't hard just for the sake of it, and we got to see him unravel as he fell in love with Mateo.
One thing about this book that almost gave it 4 stars, is the different POV's from other characters. While they may seem pointless at times, it all comes together nicely. A few I could've gone without, but i think it's added so we can truly see how the Deathcast system affects people and how their lives connect. These boys get to say goodbye to their loved ones and make peace with their past and those they will be leaving behind.
This story delivers on what the title says. Mateo and Rufus die at the end, and the author does a good job of foreshadowing their deaths early on while also keeping us in suspense. My favorite part of this story is towards the end when the boys have a deep conversation about their love for one another. Insta-love gets a bad rep in YA fiction but when done right, it can blow you away and leave your heart burning for these fictional people. The author does an amazing job of making us feel like one can truly fall for someone in 24 hours. Love knows no time. Love is pure, fast, and everlasting.
At the end of the day, this book had me on the verge of tears, and I couldn't wait for my husband to return from work so I could hug him and cherish his existence. This book is a reminder that life is fleeting and we should take advantage of every moment to give, live unapologetically, and love those closest to us.
You can find this book on Amazon, or check out Scribd.
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