We started our YA book club year with a very sad story. We read They Both Die at the End, a novel by Adam Silvera about two boys who know they’re going to die and do their best to make their final day memorable. As you can imagine, the story was sad, but also bittersweet. Silvera wrote a great love story that wasn’t just depressing, but also made you feel hopeful.
Today we’ll recommend two other books you might want to try if you enjoyed They Both Die at the End. The recommendations are high-concept and about death, so the connection between these three is made very easily!
All the way at the end we’ll leave some discussion questions at the end just in case you’re doing research for your own book club.
Ryan North and others
Taking a premise and running with it. I would have loved to get this in-depth about Death Cast from They Both Die at the ENd.
“The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. It didn’t give you the date and it didn’t give you specifics. It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words DROWNED or CANCER or OLD AGE or CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. It let people know how they were going to die.”
Machine of Death tells thirty-four different stories about people who know how they will die. Prepare to have your tears jerked, your spine tingled, your funny bone tickled, your mind blown, your pulse quickened, or your heart warmed. Or better yet, simply prepare to be surprised. Because even when people do have perfect knowledge of the future, there’s no telling exactly how things will turn out.
Instead of teenagers dying, they’re the ones that are doing the killing.
Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Discussion Questions for They Both Die at the End
- How would you spend your last day?
- Would you like to know when you die? What would you change about your life if you did?
- Would you throw your own funeral?