Spoiler alert: the title does not lie, they really do both die at the end. It’s definitely worth reiterating this point, because the book is so lovely and the characters so compelling, you really do spend the entire novel hoping the prediction is wrong. Sadly, ‘Death-cast’, a mystical service that predicts who will die each day, is never wrong. At midnight phones begin ringing all over the world as “deckers” are notified they will die sometime in this 24 hour period. They don’t find out how or exactly when, but they know that their time is definitely up, giving them a chance to say their goodbyes and squeeze in a few bucket list experiences. There is also an app that’s been designed to allow people to make a ‘last friend’, someone to spend the final hours of their life with if they don’t have anyone else. It’s this app that bring the two main characters of the book together, Rufus and Mateo. Rufus is an orphan whose family were recently killed in a car crash. He’s been up to not much good lately as he’s pretty mad at the world, and finds himself alone on his last day because he has to escape the police. Mateo is alone because his father is in a coma and he lost his mother the day he was born. He also suffers from severe anxiety which essentially stops him leaving his house, and he doesn’t want to burden his only friend, Lidia, with the news of his imminent death. Rufus helps Mateo leave his apartment and go to the hospital to say goodbye to his father, but what then follows is a beautifully delicate, emotionally charged connection between the two boys. It’s so glorious to read a story about two young men who are complex and rounded, representing both the tough and angry and the fragile and sweet side to teenage boys (and acknowledging that all boys are all these things rolled into one delicate package). I really loved this book and hope I might be able to convince some of the boys at school to give it a go, too.