Gush Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Title: They Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Pub. Date: September 5th, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 384

Formats: eGalley

    

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

As some of you may have already noticed, the Goodreads synopsis for They Both Die at the End is pretty short compared to most. I personally found this raised my curiosity as a whole towards this book. I also was aware that this would be Silvera’s first YA Sci-Fi and being a fan of his first two contemporary books, I thought to myself…can he pull it off? now I know I should’ve never questioned his ability to deliver! One thing remains constant after I finish one of his books…I keep saying “This one is my favorite” smh, the truth is I love them all and he keeps evolving as a writer which makes him my #1 YA author 🙌🏼

They Both Die at the End takes place in the span of a day in present day NYC. Although it is present day, Silvera added the Sci-Fi element by introducing Death-Cast calls. This call typically comes in at or around 12am informing you that today will be your last day. We start off with our main protagonist Mateo receiving the much dreaded call that will change the course of his life in just 1 day. From this point on we follow Mateo as decides to reclaim his life & step outside of his comfort zone…his bedroom. See, before the call Mateo took NO risks & lived his life in fear of so many things. We follow Mateo from the moment he decides to step foot outside his home to make one last connection with a “Last Friend” which is how we meet Rufus. Having also received the call, Rufus is pretty much set on going out with a bang. He is the ying to Mateo’s yang & their paths crossing almost feels like Life’s last gift to these two characters.

We also follows a series of side characters throughout the same day. Some have received the Death-Call while others have not, however each forms a piece to the puzzle that is Mateo & Rufus’ story. The only certainty is death, how you meet your fate is unknown to you. This is a story about living life to its fullest, hope, friendship, being true to yourself, love, grief, loss, and so much more!

One of the reasons i’m a fan of Silveras books are the characters he creates, they have a tendency to linger past the last sentence. This time wasn’t any different and I now have a full cast of characters to love & think about even now that I have finished this book…

Mateo- Our MC has pretty much lived a very low key life opting to stay indoors & browse the online Death-Cast forums. He follows others who have received the call & are documenting their last day online. His mother passed away & his dad is in a coma, he is very much on his own. As much as Mateo fears going out & just living his life, the idea of letting go & being free of all worry has always intrigued him. His best friend Lidia and her daughter (his Godchild), are the only people he really connects with.

Rufus- Complete opposite of Mateo, life hasn’t been easy on Rufus either. Always labeled as a bit of a trouble maker, things didn’t look good when he suddenly sees himself on his own in life with no family. Rough around the edges, Rufus is a character you can’t help but love. He is openly Bi-sexual and confident in who he is which makes for an interesting meet-up with Mateo who hasn’t quite figured out how to be his true self. Rufus also has a support system, he and 3 others make up The Plutos who I LOVED to pieces! #friendshipgoals

Friendship is always a strong theme in all of Silveras books & here we get introduced to characters from all walks of life. The way these lives come together delivered such a strong message, one that left me thinking of my own life path & those that matter to me most.

They Both Die at the End rocked me out of my comfort zone in the 48 hours it took for me to read it. It took me forever & a day to start living my life for ME, allowing myself to be as I am. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to come to this realization on the day I know will be my last. I’d probably also find myself in a mad dash to do it all with the fear hovering over my shoulder that anything could kill me. I was Mateo. I’m trying to find my inner Rufus lol. The thirst for life these characters feel on their final day is utterly contagious! it makes you want to get up & go outside eyes wide open to all the things beating with life around you. This is a book about LIFE if you’re willing to look past the title. There’s always a silver lining to Adam Silvera’s books, your heart will be broken by the end but you may also find yourself with a new perspective 😉

*HUGE Thanks to HarperTeen, Edelweiss, & Adam Silvera for the eGalley of They Both Die at the End in exchange for an honest review

Hello Readers! I started off my day by ordering my copy of They Both Die at the End & can’t wait to give it a special place on my shelves. Anyone else have a copy in the mail they’re waiting for? I know I keep saying each of his books is my fave but this time I’m sure…THIS ONE IS MY FAVE!!!! lol…sure to be out done by his next book 😉


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Gush Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Published by: Simon and Schuster

Date of Publication: July 18th 2017

Genres: YA Historical Fantasy

Pages: 512

Format: eGalley

    

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Some of you may have already noticed my header but for those that haven’t, this will be for all intents and purposes be a Gush Review!

The Last Magician was after my heart with its magic infused Gangs of New York/Six of Crows vibes *heart eyes emoji* 

We get introduced to our main protagonist Esta who is a Mageus with the ability to time travel. As an orphan Esta was taken in and trained by Professor Lachlan to steal magical artifacts. The purpose of each task is to prepare her for her toughest and take her back the furthest in time…going back to New York City 1902. Esta has studied many different languages, fashions, ways of life but nothing will prove as challenging as the early 1900’s. So much depends on her succeeding in stealing the Ars Arcana aka the oldest book of magic out of 1902 & getting it back to professor Lachlan. The Ars Arcana contains many of the oldest secrets of magic & is protected by The Order, an elite society created to protect the city against magic by way of the Ars Arcana and The Brink. At the very edge of the city is The Brink which serves as a barrier to contain those with magical abilities inside NYC. Those who have dared to cross it have either died or been left as empty vessels of their former selves unable to live life stripped from their magic. Esta travels back to 1902 to steal the Ars Arcana before The Magician can get away with it altering Present time for the worse.

Much of the book is spent in 1902 due to unforeseen circumstances & since this was a time where Old magic was alive & vibrant, the city is crawling with hidden Mageus. For Esta this comes as a surprise since in present time NYC where she comes from, much of the Old magic no longer exists having been weakened through the passage of time & generations. Esta finds her way into one of the gangs roaming the streets of NYC who happen to all be Mageus by using her abilities to prove her worth. I LOVED EVERYTHING about this plot line! Maxwell covered everything so well from gang rivalry, politics, and the slums of the Lower East side Manhattan to the Mageus and each of their individual abilities. I was sucked in from the very 1st page!

Esta- Our main protagonist is a Feminist Mageus with the ability to time travel & manipulate time…need I say more? HAHA! On a serious note, seeing her in 1902 NYC surrounded by men who viewed women as the inferior sex gave readers a realistic view of the times. Misogyny wasn’t a word being thrown around, it was the norm. Esta at times found herself scoffing at comments made at her more risqué choice of clothing only to remind herself that these people are a product of their time. Esta is also very loyal, smart and plays her cards close to her chest which made her an instant fave of mine.

Harte Darrigan- Not a part of anyones gang really, he’s a loner with a dark past & an even more messed up childhood. Harte is also a Mageus (won’t spoil his affinity since its spoilery) & is completely taken aback by Esta, a woman so ahead of her times that he can’t spend more than 5 minutes around her w/out turning 50 shades of red & yea I enjoyed their interactions a ton! Harte also has his own agenda that may or may not be an issue for Esta…

Dolph Saunders- The leader of the gang Esta joins & this character has that Kaz Brekker feel but he’s def way more cold hearted when need be. Dolph is a man carrying around his regrets & on a mission for vengeance by way of freeing all Mageus from the constraints of The Brink & The Order. He’s only interested interested in your loyalty & your affinity otherwise you have no seat at his table.

Nibs- The right hand young man Dolph keeps around handling the finances at the bar where he conducts all matters of business. Dolph trusts Nibs more than he does anyone else & often will look to him for their next move 😉

Viola- LOVE HER! described as Italian with dark hair & lavender colored eyes, Viola is sick with blades & her affinity is very valuable. She also happens to be the sister of another major gang boss. Dolph offered her a home & safety once her family turned against her. Viola is a lesbian & these times were no where near as accepting as Present time. I really wanted to see this character get her happy ending but understood that it wouldn’t be true to the time.

Jianyu- A man more comfortable hidden within the shadows he is VERY valuable as well. Jianyu is the equivalent of Varys The Spider on Game of Thrones only not as manipulative lol. He is observant & similarly to Viola, has a family head who is the head of a gang in Chinatown. Jianyu however, opted for the lesser of two evils with Dolph 😉

I’ve always been a fan of time pieces & seeing YA books dipping into Historical Fiction has been so much fun! this YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy was EVERYTHING I never knew I needed! Seeing my city back in the 1900’s was a real treat sans the misogyny of course lol. The inclusivity of such diverse characters did not go unnoticed, the author had bits and pieces of other languages giving the characters that fleshed out feel I LOVE! It was interesting reading a diverse Fantasy that also shed light on the inequalities that existed during the 1900’s. Maxwell calls The Last Magician a “behemoth” of a book in the Authors Afterward & that it is but I enjoyed every minute I spent in this world. I can see this heist playing out on the big screen with flashes of old NYC & present day modern NYC, I’d buy that ticket ASAP! This was my 1st Lisa Maxwell book & I’ve fallen in love with her writing! I’ve heard mention that this is a standalone & yet THAT ENDING! bookworms…dare I grasp on to hope for more? I really hope we get at least a Duology *fingers crossed*

*Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster, Netgalley, & Lisa Maxwell for the eGalley copy of The Last Magician in exchange for an honest review

Lovely Bookworms! who has already read The Last Magician? Thoughts? Who was your fave Mageus? & if you had to choose, would you live in 1902 NYC or Present Day NYC?


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#ARCSTRAVAGANZA: They Both Die At The End

#ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hosted by Krysti at YA and Wine and Sarah at The Clever Reader to give book bloggers/bookstagrammers a chance to show off those ARCs/eARCs/Galleys! Comment on their weekly posts with a link to your own #ARCstravaganza blog post, or post a pic on Instagram using the #ARCstravaganza hashtag, and you will be entered to win an ARC copy of an upcoming YA novel! One winner will be chosen at random each month!

Good Monday Morning Readers! This is my 2nd week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & I’ve chosen my most valuable arc They Both Die AT The End by Adam Silvera. If you’ve been around my blog for a bit you probably know just how much love I have for Adam, his stories, and his characters. My #1 favorite YA Contemporary author for many reasons. Besides his writing, his personality & down to earth attitude is what I find most endearing. I’ve reached out on Twitter & he has always responded, when I read More Happy Than Not & left my thoughts on Goodreads (before this blog existed), he was the first to like my review. He is always reachable to his fans and fellow authors in the community as well. In short, he can do no wrong in my eyes LOL! My husband actually managed to get 1 of 25 copies being given away at Bookcon earlier in June & for this he scored major brownie points haha!


They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

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They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Published by: HarperTeen

Date of Publication: September 5th 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary/Sc-Fi

Pages: 384

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

What are some ARCS/eGalleys you’re excited to have Bookworms? If you’ve participated in #ARCstravaganza this week, please feel free to drop your links & I’ll make my way around 😉


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Spider-Man Homecoming Gush! (Spoilers)

Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

Director: Jon Watts

Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal

Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay), John Francis Daley (Screenplay)

Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.

Run time: 2h 13min

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 Stars

Spoilers lay ahead…

Its been months since Peter joined the team during the events of Captain America: Civil War. He’s back in High School while also “interning” for Tony Stark…well actually, it’s more like he has a phone where Happy Hogan who works for Tony as a chauffeur and personal assistant keeps tabs on him. Tony really wants Peter to stay grounded and just be a teen doing normal teen things as opposed to taking on mega villains. He’d prefer it if Peter kept to low level street crime like petty theft while keeping a low profile. Peter on the other hand feels he is more than ready to take on the bigger missions & fully feel part of the team. Living a double life, Peter juggles all of the angst of being a H.S. student by day & vigilante by night.

When one of his routine night excursions has him stumble across a weapons dealer, Peter decides to follow the trail which eventually leads him to a deadly operation led by Vulture (Michael Keaton). Utilizing scrap metals from the alien ships last seen in The Avengers (2012) EPIC battle in New York, Vulture has been creating weapons of mass destruction. In an effort to prove himself ready to Tony Stark, Peter decides to take Vulture down while Happy Hogan is made to believe that he is in school & not getting himself in any real life threatening danger. This of course takes a bit of cunning on Peters part since Tony is no fool and has gifted him with a fully decked out new suit. The new suit comes with all sorts of new neat tricks with artificial intelligence built in however, it also has a tracker & limitations to ensure Peter isn’t biting off more than he can chew. Basically wherever Peter goes that isn’t school or home triggers a call from Happy. With the help of his best friend Ned, Peter figures out how to remove the tracker and off he goes to catch the bad guy…

CHARACTERS

Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)

Peter played by Tom Holland is bouncing off the walls excited to be “interning” for Tony Stark & from the opening scene this excitement jumps off the screen. I LOVED how authentic Peter the high school student felt. From vlogging his every day shenanigans, navigating high school as the unpopular one, chillin’ with his best bud Ned, AND having a high school crush…Peter has a pretty normal teenage life. It’s his night time activities that keep him always on the go & one wrong step away from getting caught. I enjoyed seeing this version of Peter more than I have his predecessors which caught me by surprise. Also, he’s hella effortlessly funny & a total fanboy of all things Marvel superheroes 🙂


Vulture played by Michael Keaton made for an interesting villain. We got a brief glimpse of this character before he turned into a baddie. This was a man contracted to clean up the mess left behind by the events that took place in NYC during The Avengers. He had a team of workers he cared for but quickly lost the contract to Damage Control which is a company created by Tony Stark specifically tasked with the clean up of superhero-created messes. Instead of walking away, he kept a piece of the alien ship and with the help of an inventor under his employ, created weapons of mass destruction. A family man himself, Vulture is keeping his nefarious dealings away from his wife and daughter. Was anyone else shocked when he turns out to be the father of Peter’s crush? I sure had a shocked soap opera moment haha!


Ned aka Peter’s best friend played by Jason Batalon was one of my fave characters! after finding out Peters identity as Spider-Man, he is convinced this is the 1 way ticket to finally being popular. Once he realizes he can’t share Peters identity with anyone, he settles for being his wing-man. Ned is smart & tech savy (read as: hacker extraordinaire) which helps Peter in working around the protocols Tony Stark has placed on his suit. Also very happy to see Marvel casting a Filipino-American actor for this role, to me it’s a step in the right direction when it comes to diversifying our media.


Aunt May played by my love Marisa Tomei was AMAZING! yea I’m totally a biased opinion since I have loved all of her movies ever since My Cousin Vinny! Marisa plays a younger version of Aunt May who encourages Peter to have fun & “loosen up” lol. She’s also not as unaware of his night time comings & goings as Peter would like to think. Still she allows him his space but checks in on him every once in a while. That ending scene where she walks in on him in his suit & gives us a “WTF?!?!?!” was classic Marisa Tomei & I LOVED IT!


Mary Jane played by Zendaya (doesn’t need a last name cuz she’s cool like that lol) was literally a nice surprise! The girl Peter has a crush on throughout the whole movie who also happens to be Vultures daughter *gasp* isn’t Mary Jane. Instead, the girl who throughout the movie has turned up wherever and whenever with side commentary (lived for these) is Mary Jane & I LOVE HER! she gave me Breakfast Club vibes & that scene where she’s willingly sitting in detention drawing peoples faces while they’re “in desperation” was one of my faves! CANNOT wait to see how her role is further developed *insert excited emoji*

FINAL THOUGHTS

I will be the first to admit that up until Homecoming, I enjoyed the Spider-Man movies but never walked away saying I LOVED THAT MOVIE!!! this time around both my hubby & I couldn’t stop talking about all of the things we loved. One of the things we noticed right away was that for the most part, Homecoming was filmed in Queens. For hubby, seeing the streets he grew up around was nostalgic & exciting because we don’t typically get major motion pictures in the “Outer Boroughs” (anything that isn’t Manhattan lol). Although there were some scenes in Manhattan, these were minimal. Marvels continued efforts to diversify their cast did not go unnoticed with the casting of Zendaya (Mary Jane), Jason Batalon (Ned), Laura Harrier (Liz aka H.S. Crush), Doris Toomes (Liz’ mom), and Selenis Leyva (teacher) to name a few. With many humorous moments & scenes where it seemed like Peter could not get in any deeper, Homecoming succeeded in making me a fan. I found myself at times rooting for him to take down Vulture & others squinting and wishing he’d just call Tony haha! which only further proves that Marvel succeeded in portraying Peter as just a 15 year old teenager NOT yet ready to take on super villains. Last but definitely NOT least! who do I need to thank for bringing back Pepper Potts?!?!? BEST come back EVER!!!

I’ve seen a lot of my blogging buddies raving about Homecoming on Twitter, I want to know…is this the BEST Spider-Man movie? & Tom Holland or Tobey Maguire, who played Spidey better? 🙂