Life changing. I started reading this book three weeks ago but then I took a break because it was too much and I had a lot do for school and I really wanted to take it in. It was raw and real and it shows a truth nobody wants to accept: death. I will admit that death and the sudden appearance and disappearance of each and everyone of us is a sensible subject for me. Every time I had opened the subject with a close friend they never understood what I was making such a fuss about, as if dying is a trivial thing like flowers sprout in the spring. That is the very reason why I had to buy it, so I could accept my death as if it is normal and trite.
Everything happens in an alternate reality on 5th September 2017. In this reality there is an organisation named “Death Cast” which calls and tells the people that die that day, that in the next 24 hours they will probably die, sometimes from unknown reasons at the moment they are called. In this moment every reader’s mind probably goes “Okay so why couldn’t you hide in your room or in an underground bunker with food and supplies?” It was impossible, Death Cast had never made a mistake about someone’s death. It was like your due date, your expiration date (sorry). For example the president tried hiding from death in a bunker. He was murdered by one of his soldiers who pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger. That is how Mateo and Rufus, two teenagers befriend each other on their Last Day through the app “Last Friend” and live their last day together trying to make memories and live their last day without regrets.
Characters and Opinions
I love how I can find myself in each and every one (besides Peck, I would very much enjoy punching the hell out of him). Mateo struggling to get out of his apartment and his paranoia keeping him form living his life to the full, but Rufus comes along with his witty but relaxed and can I say breezy? way of being, giving Mateo the reality check he needed. When he didn’t want to get out of the block, Rufus pushing him and reminding him that life is passing by.
I also like how they complete and understand each other even if they are complete opposites. Rufus regretting living without his family and Mateo regretting not living at all. That is why they where like yin and yang. Mateo was a scared boy, too scared to be himself or try something new, but he was kind and generous always thinking about others first. Rufus on the other hand, had many experiences but after his family dying he had to live with the guilt of being happy without them, accepting that he was not guilty for their death. They both helped the other give the freedom they longed for, the freedom they deserved.
The best thing is the unexpected romance, at least for me. I didn’t know there were going to be romantic feelings involved but they are perfect for each other. They were soulmates, right moment right person. Before you jump at me with what do I mean right moment, they are dying? If it hadn’t been their Last Day they would have never approached each other or Rufus having Aimee in his heart would have kept him from developing feelings. Because Rufus had to accept the fact that he was about to die made him get closure with Aimee at his funeral. They were soulmates because they both made each other become a better person, because they found each other in the end.
The most fascinating thing is how I started rooting for them, even if the book had the title “They both die at the end” like a very big DANGER! sign, but I couldn’t resist but hope they both survive and live happily ever after with their friends and families. I couldn’t accept it.
Before every important chapter, there is an inspiring quote about death, but also life. Because life is death’s soulmate and there isn’t one without the other. My favorite one has to be “ A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd. I think this aims for Mateo, too afraid to live because he was too afraid to die. I guess it applies to me too. And every reader out there.
I cried three times while reading totally different parts. This is not a bad thing, I mean I had it coming “They both die at the end” and on the back of the book it is written “Heartbreaking”, “You will cry, think and then cry some more”. I am also an easy crier (that’s how I call myself so take what you want from this). That means I start crying at movies when there isn’t something to cry about, it is just so beautiful and I am full of feelings that have to go somewhere, so I start crying. I first started crying from the first 15 pages while reading Mateo’s point of view. Then I took a big break like a week or so. But I am glad I came back to it. At the end I was really keeping myself from crying but when I realized they were the death of each other I had lost it completely. Both dying with each other on their mind, hoping to find each other in another life. (just started crying again while writing this)
The impact it had on me
It is extraordinarily inspiring and eye-opening. I feel like we are raised to believe we deserve every day and as if every day is promised or we all die when we are old and accomplished, but this rarely happens. It gave me a reality check, to appreciate every day, every minute and every second because this may all I get, maybe I don’t get a do-over. I can die at any moment, in the luxury of my house, because of an earthquake or I slip when I climb the stairs. Maybe when I put my half broken charger in the plug. Or what if I slip in the shower. Too many variables.
“My birth didn’t bring any win to the universe. My death will not reduce it’s reality or beauty. No one could ever explain to me, why I had come and why will I leave.”by Romanian writer Mihail Drumes
So why am I wasting everyday of my life imagining what my life would be like if… when I have the occasion to try, and fail but then try again. It inspired me to be myself and accept myself, does it really matter that your left eye is slightly higher from your right making it asymmetrical? No. In the long run people love you for who you are, and you are the best version of yourself when you are yourself with no bullshit.
It also inspired me for my Instagram account. I had always envied people that didn’t give a shit about others opinion, about likes or if Madeline from dance class noticed my new haircut. I want to post whatever the hell I want, moments most importantly. I want to capture people, friends, animals in a genuine moments, where you can read their emotions from a simple photo. I am sick of selfies in front of a wall just showing how pretty we are. The right people will notice, I notice that I am pretty. No one else matters.
This book gives all kinds of lessons, and I think I fell in love with it, with the pain and heart ache it put me through but also with the raw way life is portrayed.