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14 Books Like They Both Die at the End

Books Like They Both Die at the End

Have you ever finished a book that left you breathless, with tears in your eyes, and a lingering ache in your heart? If so, then you know the power of a story that resonates deeply with its readers. 

One such tale that has captured the hearts of many is “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera. This novel takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster, exploring themes of love, loss, and the fragility of life. 

If you found yourself captivated by the raw emotion of the novel and yearn for more, then you’re in luck. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore a selection of books that share similar themes and storytelling styles, ensuring that the journey doesn’t have to end with Rufus and Mateo’s story. 

Whether you’re craving another dose of heart-wrenching romance or searching for a narrative that will keep you turning pages late into the night, these books are sure to satisfy your literary cravings. 

Let’s check these amazing books out. 

Books Like They Both Die at the End

1. “We Are the Ants” by Shaun David Hutchinson

This novel explores the life of Henry Denton, who has been periodically abducted by aliens since he was thirteen. Amidst dealing with his boyfriend’s suicide, a dysfunctional family, and bullying at school, the aliens offer him a choice: press a button to save the world from impending doom, or let it be destroyed. 

The story delves deeply into themes of grief, choice, and the struggles of coming of age under extraordinary circumstances.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “They Both Die at the End,” “We Are the Ants” combines elements of speculative fiction with deep emotional and psychological exploration. 

Both books address themes of mortality, the significance of human connections, and the impact of knowing when the end will come. The protagonists in both stories must navigate through their personal traumas and relationships, making difficult choices against the backdrop of an unavoidable fate.

2. “The Sun Is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon

Natasha, a girl who believes in science and facts, meets Daniel, a dreamy poet, on the streets of New York City. With her family twelve hours away from being deported back to Jamaica, Natasha is desperately seeking a miracle to stay in the U.S. Daniel, on the other hand, is on his way to an interview with a Yale alumni, trying to live up to his Korean parents’ expectations. 

Over the course of a single day, their encounter evolves into a story about love, fate, and the universe’s mysterious ways.

Major Similarities: 

Both “The Sun Is Also a Star” and “They Both Die at the End” are poignant tales that unfold over a short period, emphasizing the power and unpredictability of human connections. The stories explore the theme of fate versus free will and how significant moments can arise from chance encounters. 

Each narrative challenges the characters to reconsider their perspectives on life, love, and destiny in the face of looming deadlines.

3. “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver

In this novel, Samantha Kingston relives the last day of her life seven times, uncovering the mystery behind her death and discovering the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. 

With each repetition, Sam evolves, understanding the impact of her actions on others and the power of even the smallest moments of kindness, love, and bravery.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “They Both Die at the End,” “Before I Fall” deals with the concept of imminent death and the introspection it triggers. Both books challenge their characters to confront their mortality and the consequences of their choices. 

The stories emphasize the importance of living life to the fullest and appreciating every moment, offering a poignant exploration of youth, mortality, and redemption.

4. “History Is All You Left Me” by Adam Silvera

This novel tells the story of Griffin, whose first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident. 

As Griffin struggles with the unbearable grief and the belief that Theo would eventually come back to him, his world is further turned upside down when Jackson, Theo’s last boyfriend, provides the only one who understands his heartbreak. The narrative weaves between past and present, exploring themes of love, loss, and the complexity of relationships.

Major Similarities: 

“History Is All You Left Me” shares with “They Both Die at the End” a deep exploration of grief, love, and the impact of loss. Both Adam Silvera novels feature complex characters navigating the pain of losing someone they love, underscored by the inevitability of death. 

The emotional depth, LGBTQ+ themes, and the blend of hope and heartbreak resonate strongly across both stories.

5. “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

Maddy is a girl who is literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door, and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. 

This novel unfolds Maddy’s journey of self-discovery and the exploration of the outside world, challenging everything she’s ever known about health, friendship, and love. It’s a heartwarming and heartbreaking story that questions the limits we’re willing to go for love.

Major Similarities: 

“Everything, Everything” and “They Both Die at the End” share themes of living life beyond the confines of fear and the ordinary. Both stories revolve around characters who face extraordinary circumstances that challenge their perceptions of life and love. 

The narratives highlight the importance of seizing the day and embracing love, despite the risks and uncertainties that come with it.

6. “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera

In the Bronx, Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after his father’s suicide, but he’s supported by his girlfriend, Genevieve, and his mom. When Aaron meets Thomas, he finds a new level of happiness and questions his sexuality, despite the societal pressures and the judgment of his friends. 

The Leteo Institute’s procedure to alter and suppress memories seems like a way out, but Aaron must decide if he’s willing to forget who he truly is to be happy.

Major Similarities: 

Like “They Both Die at the End,” “More Happy Than Not” intertwines themes of memory, identity, and the search for happiness in the face of adversity. Both novels navigate the complexities of young love, the struggle with personal identity, and the impact of societal expectations. 

Silvera’s exploration of challenging and emotional topics through a speculative fiction lens offers a poignant look at the cost of denying one’s true self for the sake of conformity or perceived happiness.

7. “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

Following a devastating car accident that kills her family and leaves her in a coma, Mia, a talented cellist, has an out-of-body experience where she observes the aftermath of the tragedy. 

As she watches her friends and family gather at the hospital, Mia faces a heart-wrenching choice: to wake up and live a life far different from the one she had before or to let go and leave the world behind. This narrative delves into themes of love, loss, family, and the power of choice.

Major Similarities: 

“If I Stay” and “They Both Die at the End” share the profound exploration of life’s fragility and the impact of choice against the backdrop of imminent death. 

Both stories prompt readers to consider what makes life worth living and the importance of connections with others. The emotional depth, the exploration of the aftermath of loss, and the contemplation of existential choices resonate deeply in both narratives.

8. “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

Based on true events, “Two Boys Kissing” follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss to make a statement about the visibility of gay teens. Their story is told alongside the experiences of other boys dealing with different facets of being young and gay. 

Narrated by a chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS, the novel offers a powerful look at the past and present of the gay community.

Major Similarities: 

“Two Boys Kissing” and “They Both Die at the End” both deal with themes of love, identity, and societal challenges. The exploration of young LGBTQ+ experiences, the impact of external perceptions, and the quest for self-acceptance are central to both stories. 

The innovative narrative styles and emotional resonance offer a deep dive into the lives of young people navigating their identities in a complex world.

9. “This Is Where It Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp

Over the span of 54 minutes, this harrowing novel unfolds from the perspectives of four students during a school shooting. 

Each character has a unique connection to the shooter, offering insights into the complexity of their relationships and the events leading up to the tragedy. 

The story examines themes of violence, survival, and the impact of choices in moments of crisis.

Major Similarities: 

While “This Is Where It Ends” and “They Both Die at the End” explore different scenarios, both books address the suddenness of death and the fragility of life. The intense, real-time storytelling in both novels heightens the emotional impact and the sense of urgency in confronting mortality. 

Themes of love, friendship, and the effects of past actions on present realities are woven through both narratives, challenging readers to consider the value of every moment.

10. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old cancer patient, meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters, a charming and witty amputee, in a cancer support group. 

Their story is one of love, laughter, and the search for meaning in the face of illness and mortality. Together, they embark on a journey that questions the traditional narratives around sickness and love, leaving an indelible mark on each other’s lives.

Major Similarities: 

Both “The Fault in Our Stars” and “They Both Die at the End” tackle the themes of young love and terminal illness, challenging characters to find meaning and joy in their limited time together. The stories are poignant explorations of the ways in which imminent death can intensify the beauty and tragedy of love. 

The narrative focus on making the most of every moment, and the impact of love on personal growth and acceptance, creates a powerful parallel between the two novels.

11. “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green

April May stumbles upon a mysterious giant sculpture in New York City, which she names Carl. Her video with Carl goes viral, catapulting her into internet fame. As more Carls appear worldwide, April becomes embroiled in an international mystery that challenges her understanding of identity, fame, and humanity. 

The novel is a sharp and insightful commentary on the power of social media, the search for meaning, and the human condition in the modern world.

Major Similarities: 

Both “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” and “They Both Die at the End” blend contemporary issues with speculative elements to explore deeper themes of human connection, identity, and mortality. 

While Hank Green’s novel focuses more on the impact of fame and technology, both books encourage readers to consider how we live our lives in the face of unknowns and the legacies we choose to leave behind.

12. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Set in the 1980s, this novel follows two misfit teenagers, Eleanor and Park, who unexpectedly form a deep bond over comic books and mix tapes. 

As they navigate the ups and downs of first love, they also confront brutal realities of family and societal expectations. Their story is a tender exploration of romance, friendship, and the resilience of the human spirit against the backdrop of a rough adolescence.

Major Similarities: 

“Eleanor & Park” and “They Both Die at the End” both capture the intensity and poignancy of young love and the challenges faced by those who feel out of place in their worlds. 

Each book addresses themes of societal judgment and the struggle for identity, offering a heartfelt look at the importance of human connection and understanding in overcoming adversity.

13. “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli

Simon Spier is a sixteen-year-old not-so-openly gay student navigating high school life, who prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. 

Simon must step out of his comfort zone before he’s outed against his will or worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. As Simon begins a hilarious and terrifying journey of self-discovery, the narrative unfolds into a sincere exploration of identity, love, and friendship.

Major Similarities: 

Like “They Both Die at the End,” “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” delves into the complexities of young LGBTQ+ relationships, the search for identity, and the impact of societal pressures. 

Both novels offer an authentic and touching portrayal of the challenges and triumphs of coming of age, underscored by the importance of acceptance, both self and societal. The stories highlight the significance of living authentically and the value of supportive relationships in navigating life’s uncertainties.

14. “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Set in the 1980s, this novel follows two Mexican-American boys, Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana, as they grow from strangers into friends over the course of one summer in El Paso, Texas. 

Their friendship evolves into a tender exploration of identity, family, and the universe. Through poetic storytelling, the book addresses complex themes of ethnicity, sexuality, and the bonds that tie us together.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” and “They Both Die at the End” are heartfelt narratives that explore the nuances of friendship and love within the LGBTQ+ community. 

The novels tenderly examine the journey of self-discovery and the impact of familial and cultural expectations on young people. With a focus on the significance of connections and understanding oneself, both stories resonate with readers looking for depth and authenticity in character relationships and personal growth.

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