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20 Heart-Wrenching Books Like “They Both Die at the End”

Discover Your Next Emotional Journey With These Books Similar to "They Both Die at the End"
by The Blinkist Team | Mar 29 2024
books like they both die at the end

“They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera is a heart-wrenching novel that tells the story of two boys, Mateo and Rufus. When they receive the Death-Cast call, they are informed that they have only one day left to live.

Through their final moments together, the book explores themes of friendship, love, and the true essence of living, even when faced with the end. This story is so captivating that it often prompts readers to seek out similar emotionally charged books that blend the beauty of life’s fleeting moments with the inevitability of death.

Whether you’re looking for stories that explore last chances, profound connections, or the emotional depth of saying goodbye, this list of 20 books will guide you through different worlds where every moment counts.

Top 20 best books to read if you liked “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera


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

Hazel and Augustus’s story is a touching exploration of love and mortality among two cancer-stricken teens.

What makes it similar:

  • Young protagonists grappling with their mortality.
  • A deeply emotional, character-driven narrative.
  • Themes of love and existential contemplation.


2. “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver

Samantha Kingston has seven chances to unravel the mystery of her death in this compelling tale.

What makes it similar:

  • The concept of reliving your last day.
  • Focus on personal growth and redemption.
  • A mix of poignant moments and introspective insights.


3. “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

Mia faces a critical choice between life and death after a tragic accident, hovering between two worlds.

What makes it similar:

  • An exploration of the thin line between life and death.
  • The impact of love and family on life’s choices.
  • Emotional depth tied to the value of living.


4. “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

A story of love and tragedy unfolds as Cadence Sinclair tries to uncover the truth behind her accident and memory loss.

What makes it similar:

  • The central theme of secrets leading to a tragic end.
  • Deep emotional and psychological exploration.
  • A twist that changes everything you thought you knew.


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

Griffin confronts his heartbreak and history with Theo, who dies in a drowning accident, amidst his complicated feelings towards Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson.

What makes it similar:

  • The emotional turmoil of dealing with a loved one’s death.
  • Themes of love, grief, and redemption.
  • A raw and honest portrayal of loss and mental health.


6. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfit teens find solace and understanding in each other, creating a memorable tale of first love.

What makes it similar:

  • A focus on young love and connecting with someone despite the odds.
  • The exploration of personal and familial issues.
  • A heartwarming yet bittersweet storyline.


7. “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

Louisa’s world changes when she becomes a caretaker for Will, who desires to end his life after becoming quadriplegic.

What makes it similar:

  • Complex emotional dynamics regarding life choices.
  • A love story that explores deep ethical and personal dilemmas.
  • Heart-wrenching decisions and their impacts on relationships.


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

Natasha and Daniel’s story is a whirlwind day in New York City, exploring fate, family, and the universe’s connectivity.

What makes it similar:

  • Young characters experiencing a life-changing day.
  • Themes of love, destiny, and existential musings.
  • A narrative that captures the intensity of living fully within a short time.


9. “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

Maddy is allergic to the world until Olly moves next door, sparking a love that risks everything.

What makes it similar:

  • The risk of death intertwined with the pursuit of love.
  • A journey of self-discovery and breaking boundaries.
  • Emotional and physical challenges in young relationships.


10. “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness

Conor deals with his mother’s terminal illness and a monster visiting at night, offering a profound look into grief and loss.

What makes it similar:

  • Coping with the impending death of a loved one.
  • A blend of fantasy and reality to explore emotional truths.
  • Themes of acceptance, bravery, and the complexity of human emotions.


11. “Five Feet Apart” by Rachael Lippincott

Stella and Will, two teens with cystic fibrosis, navigate their love within the boundaries of their condition.

What makes it similar:

  • Young love constrained by health and the looming presence of death.
  • The balance between safety and desire for connection.
  • Emotional depth dealing with themes of sacrifice and hope.


12. “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Twins Noah and Jude confront deep personal and family issues, learning about love, loss, and self-acceptance.

What makes it similar:

  • The exploration of grief and rebuilding oneself.
  • The significance of relationships and understanding.
  • A moving narrative filled with artistic and emotional expression.


13. “This Song Will Save Your Life” by Leila Sales

Elise finds her place in the world through an underground nightclub, discovering a passion for DJing and a way to heal her scars.

What makes it similar:

  • A protagonist dealing with deep emotional pain and finding redemption.
  • Themes of identity, belonging, and the healing power of music.
  • A journey from despair to self-acceptance and finding joy.


14. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s secret love letters get sent out, leading her into a concoction of romantic entanglements and self-discovery.

What makes it similar:

  • Young love and the chaos it brings.
  • The importance of family and personal growth.
  • A sweet, engaging narrative with emotional depth.


15. “Let It Snow” by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Three interwoven stories of love and friendship set against a Christmas Eve snowstorm.

What makes it similar:

  • A tapestry of young lives intersecting and changing over one evening.
  • Themes of love, chance encounters, and festive magic.
  • Heartfelt storylines with memorable characters.


16. “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

Violet and Finch meet atop a bell tower and embark on a journey that teaches them about life’s small wonders.

What makes it similar:

  • Dealing with themes of mental health, love, and suicidality.
  • Two characters helping each other see the world differently.
  • A poignant tale of hope and sorrow.


17. “Every Day” by David Levithan

“A” wakes up in a different body each day, living a new life until falling in love and seeking a way to stay with them.

What makes it similar:

  • A unique premise that explores identity, love, and sacrifice.
  • The challenge of connecting deeply with someone under extraordinary circumstances.
  • Philosophical questions about the essence of being and love.


18. “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli

Simon navigates his way through blackmail, friendship, and the dread of coming out, all while falling for an anonymous classmate online.

What makes it similar:

  • A heartfelt coming-of-age story with engaging characters.
  • Themes of love, identity, and the struggle for acceptance.
  • Humor and warmth entwined with emotional stakes.


19. “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead

Miranda receives mysterious notes that predict the future and unlock a tale of friendship, time travel, and destiny.

What makes it similar:

  • A blend of everyday life with extraordinary elements.
  • The importance of connections and the impact of actions.
  • An intriguing, thought-provoking narrative.


20. “Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley

In 1959 Virginia, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power, and how they feel about each other.

What makes it similar:

  • Characters facing societal norms and personal battles.
  • Themes of love, courage, and change.
  • An emotionally charged journey towards acceptance and understanding.

In conclusion, these books like “They Both Die at the End” promise a rollercoaster of emotions, exploring love, life, and the poignant beauty of human connections against the backdrop of mortality. Each narrative invites you to reflect on the delicate balance between living and leaving, urging you to cherish every moment.

So, dive into these stories, find solace in their words, and maybe even discover new perspectives on life and love. Happy reading!


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