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Adam Silvera (born June 7, 1990) is an author of young adult fiction.
- I don’t ever see any character as 100 percent good or 100 percent evil…
- On writing compelling characters in “Adam Silvera: How I Write” in The Writer (2016 Dec 19)
- Some people like ‘happily ever after,’ but I don’t think that’s me. I’m always writing from some difficult place and seeing how the character survives … or doesn’t. When I really want to be comforted myself what I look for is a story about how somebody could survive something really difficult. There are happy stories out there but I think some of them may raise false expectations for teens…
- On avoiding happy endings in “Four Questions for Adam Silvera” in Publisher’s Weekly (2017 Jan 19)
- All stories that are centring queer kids and their experiences are all valid whether it’s dealing with the trials of having parents who aren’t as welcoming about it or parents who are totally chill about it, which is obviously the hope for all teenagers. I think there are some things that could be said too, especially culturally, like there’s a lot of stigma in the Puerto Rican community that fathers especially are so hyper masculine that they will always be uncomfortable with their children being gay…
- On addressing the full scope of queer experiences in “Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera Interview” in The Little Contemporary Corner (2018 Nov 20)
- I succeeded in making you care. If you feel nothing, I failed you as a storyteller. I love happy endings, but some readers need the darker stories, too. The stories that don’t make them feel disturbed by their own reality because it doesn’t reflect what they’re used to seeing in fiction. There’s some comfort in harsher stories, and witnessing how one character rebuilds after tragedy can provide hope for the reader.
- On what he aims for as a storyteller in “History Is All You Left Me Author Adam Silvera Talks Second Books and More with Nicola Yoon” (Barnes & Noble; 2017 Jan 19)
More Happy Than Not (2015)
- New York: SoHo Teen.
- It's storming outside right now. I stare out the window. I can't tell you if it rained yesterday or even what day it is. It always feels like I'm waking up, minute after minute, like I'm in my own little time zone. But as I trace my smiling scar- unable to do so without remembering the time Thomas poked two eyes onto my wrist with dirt- I still have hope in what Evangeline and Leteo hope for, too. And while I wait, happiness exists where I can get it. In these notebooks, where worlds of memories greet me, almost like a childhood friend who moved away for years and finally came back home. I'm more happy than not. Don't forget me.
- p. 293
Because You Love To Hate Me (2017)
- Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy. New York: Bloombury. Edited by Amerie; 13 short stories were contributed by different authors. Adam Silvera wrote "You, You, It's All About You", pages 254-269.
- You've made a name for yourself. And no one remembers the old one.
- p. 254
- Hiding doesn't bother you. If believers never see God's face, why should they see yours?
- p. 254
- You smile and return to Franklin's body. Maybe he's not exactly a dragon. Maybe you're not the angel your client believed you to be. But this life is still one of your own design, and that's the way you like it. You roll the Trance seed around your fist, imagining what life you'll design for him next. Every name he's worn so far will remain good and buried, but he's in excellent hands with you. The world knows this. You'll make a new name for him. And no one will remember the old ones.
- p. 269
History Is All You Left Me (2017)
- New York: SoHo Teen.
- You're still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you're having an open-casket funeral. I know you're out there, listening. And you should know I'm really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn't the first promise you've broken.
- p. 1
- And if bringing up the past annoys you now- as I know it did when you left New York for California- know that I'm sorry, but please don't be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.
- p. 1
They Both Die at the End (2017)
- To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that's all.
- Oscar Wilde, p. 1
- I hear police sirens and keep pedaling. I hope something else is happening. I give it a few more minutes before I take a break, stopping between a McDonald's and a gas station. It's mad bright, maybe kneeling over here is stupid, but staying in plain sight might be a good hiding spot. I don't know, I'm not James Bond, I don't have some guidebook on how to hide from the bad guys. Shit, I'm the bad guy.
- Rufus Emeterio, p. 69
- I want more time, more lives, and this Rufus Emeterio has already accepted his fate. Maybe he's suicidal. Suicide can't be predicted specifically, but the death itself is still foreseen. If he is self-destructive, I shouldn't be around him- he might actually be the reason I'm about to clock out. But his photo clashes with that theory: he's smiling and he has welcoming eyes. I'll chat with him and, if I get a good vibe, he might be the kind of guy whose honesty will make me face myself. I'm going to reach out. There's nothing risky about saying hello.
- Mateo Torrez, p. 73
- I am a little concerned about spending my End Day with someone who's accepted dying, someone who's made mistakes. I don't know him, obviously, and he might turn out to be insanely destructive- he is outside in the middle of the night on a day he's slated for death after all. But no matter what choices we make- solo or together- our finish line remains the same. It doesn't matter how many times we look both ways. It doesn't matter if we don't go skydiving to play it safe, even though it means we'll never get to fly like our favorite superheros do. It doesn't matter if we keep our heads low when passing a gang in a bad neighborhood. No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.
- Mateo, p. 79
- A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
- John Shedd, p. 81
- "This is pointless," Tagoe says in the back of the cop car. He's no longer sucking his teeth or shouting about how he did nothing, the way he did when the handcuffs first went on, even though Malcolm and Aimee urged him to shut up. "They're not gonna find Rufus. He'll dust them on his-" "Shut up." This time Malcolm isn't worried about extra charges coming Tagoe's way. Malcolm already knows Rufus managed to get away on his bike. The bike wasn't there when they were being escorted out of the house. And he knows Rufus can dust the police on his bike, but he doesn't want them keeping an eye out for boys on bikes and find him. If they want him, they're gonna have to work for it.
- Malcolm Anthony, p. 87
- It's possible Mateo not being a daredevil will keep us alive longer, but I'm not banking on it being a memorable End Day.
- Rufus, p. 106
- Thank you for everything, Dad.
I'll be brave, and I'll be okay.
I love you from here to there.
- p. 114
- It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
- Marcus Aurelius, p. 225
- Twelve hours ago I received a phone call telling me I'm going to die today. In my own Mateo way, I've said tons of goodbyes already, to my dad, best friend, and goddaughter, but the most important goodbye is the one I said to Past Mateo, who I left behind at home when my Last Friend accompanied me into a world that has it out for us. Rufus has done so much for me and I'm here to help him confront any demons following him- except we can't whip out any flaming swords or crosses that double as throwing stars like in fantasy books. His company has helped me and maybe mine will help him through any heartache too. Twelve hours ago I received the phone call telling me I'm going to die today, and I'm more alive than I've ever been.
- Mateo, p. 227
- If you're close enough to a Decker when they die, you won't be able to put words to anything for the longest time. But few regret spending every possible minute with them while they were still alive.
- Officer Andrade, p. 293
- No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
- Steve Jobs, p. 299
- "That's not our story." Mateo squeezes my hands. "We're not dying because of love. We were going to die today, no matter what. You didn't just keep me alive, you made me live." He climbs into my lap, bringing us closer. He hugs me so hard his heart is beating against my chest. I bet he feels mine. "Two dudes met. They fell in love. They lived. That's our story." "That's a better story. Ending still needs some work." "Forget about the ending," Mateo says in my ear. He pushes his chest away from mine so he can look me in the eye. "I doubt the world is in the mood for a miracle, so we know not to expect a happily-ever-after. I only care about the endings we lived through today. Like how I stopped being someone afraid of the world and the people in it." "And I stopped being someone I don't like," I say. "You wouldn't have liked me." He's tearing up and smiling. "And you wouldn't have waited for me to be brave. Maybe it's better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs."
- Rufus, p. 345
- I wake up feeling invincible. I don't check the time because I don't want anything to shatter my survivor spirit. In my head, I'm already in another day. I have beat Death-Cast's prediction, the first person in history to do so. I put my glasses back on, kiss Rufus' forehead, and watch him resting. Nervous, I reach for his heart, and I'm relieved it is still beating: he's invincible too. I climb over Rufus and I bet he would kill me himself if he caught me leaving our safe island, but I want to introduce him to Dad. I leave the room and go to the kitchen to prepare tea for us. I set the pot over the stove's burner and check the cabinets for tea selections and decide on peppermint. When I switch on the burner, my chest sinks with regret. Even when you know death is coming, the blaze of it all is still sudden.
- Mateo, p. 347
- Mateo is dead. That was no way for him to go out. Mateo should've gone out saving someone, because he was such a selfless person. No, even if he didn't die a hero's death, he died a hero. Mateo Torrez definitely saved me.
- Rufus, p. 354
- Mr. Torrez,
I'm Rufus Emeterio. I was Mateo's last friend. He was mad brave on his End Day.
I took photos all day on Instagram. You gotta see how he lived. My username is @RufusonPluto. I'm really happy your son reached out to me on what could've been the worst day ever.
Sorry for your loss,
- p. 366
- The hourglass is almost out of sand. It's getting creepy. I'm picturing Death stalking me, hiding behind cars and bushes, ready to swing his damn scythe. I'm mad tired, not just physically, but straight emotionally drained. This is how I felt after losing my family. Full-force grief I have no chance pulling myself out of without time, which we know I don't have. I'm making my way back to Althea Park to wait this night out. No matter how normal that is for me, I can't get myself to stop shaking 'cause I can be alert as all hell right now and it won't change what's going down mad soon. I also miss my family and that Mateo kid so much. And yo, there better be an afterlife and Mateo better make it easy to find him like he promised. I wonder if Mateo found his mother yet. I wonder if he told her about me. If I find my family first, we'll have our hug-it-out moment, and then I'll recruit them in my Mateo manhunt. Then who knows what comes next. I throw on my headphones and watch the video of Mateo singing to me. I see Althea Park in the distance, my place of great change. I return my attention to the video, his voice blasting in my ears. I cross the street without an arm to hold me back.
- Rufus, p. 368
(Don't) Call Me Crazy (2018)
- Chapel Hill: Algonquin Young Readers. Edited by Kelly Jensen; the chapters were written by 33 different authors. Adam Silvera contributed the chapter "Happiness Goes On" from page 181 to page 185.
- "Why are your books so sad? You seem so happy!" I've gotten variations of this question ever since publishing my first book. The people who are confused about how I can write about so much sadness when I appear to be leading a happy and charmed life are the same people who are confused about how a comedian could be so depressed that they've died by suicide. The happiness someone wears and puts out into the universe should never be trusted to be the same amount of joy one has within.
- p. 181
- My dream was turning on me. I wanted to be better than my failures and I wanted to be two times better than my successes. One of my favorite people recognized I was becoming too defined by my career and told me to take a step back, to return to being "Adam Silvera, human who writes, not writer who humans." That was exactly what I wanted but I couldn't get there instantly. My warped perspective on my career and expectations for it, both internal and external, were preventing me from appreciating the true victories of being a writer- like someone telling me they enjoyed my work. Like someone else telling me my work saved their life.
- p. 182
- It's not uncommon for me to sink when good things are happening in my life, something I'm positive others experience, as well. That rewarding high can leave you wanting more and when "more" doesn't show up, you're left disappointed. After the book's publication, dozens of these moments eventually avalanched and left me feeling worthless and hopeless and crushed and alone despite having some of the greatest friends ever.
- p. 182
- It took me hours to finally work up the nerve to call. I didn't feel justified because I wasn't an immediate danger to myself. But as my mentor told me: I was indeed at risk during these very charged days, and it was important that I build relationships with professionals instead of carrying all this unchecked weight by myself. I also hesitated to call because I felt as if some of my reasons- which I'm keeping to myself- were stupid and weren't worth their time. I really hope anyone reading this understands that if your "stupid" reason is eating you alive, then it's far from stupid. I hope we can all be smarter about this in the future.
- p. 183
- Writing has always been my outlet. Whether I was exploring an idea or seeking therapy it's what I have always done, and will likely continue to do, whenever I need to relieve myself of whatever is weighing me down.
- p. 184
- I write sad stories for teenagers because young adults need to see that there is no such thing as a happy ending when you're that age. Because your life is more than your teenage years. And that when we say "It Gets Better" it doesn't mean "Everything Gets Solved." It means you will still carry the weight from when things weren't good, but you will be stronger for it the next time you're unhappy- and that time will come. I want to show the battles that people go through. And I can't think of a better way to show young people that you can be strong enough to survive and survive and survive and survive than to write a character who overcomes their darkness.
I write sad stories so I can be a living, breathing example that someone who looks happy on the outside isn't always happy on the inside. I write sad stories because my own life is a story that's still going on.
- p. 185
Infinity Son (2020)
- New York: HarperTeen. All quotes are from the 2020 hardcover edition.
- I'm dead set on living my one life right, but I can't say the same for my brother. No one's expecting Brighton to be full-grown when we turn eighteen at midnight, but he needs to step it up.
- p. 1
Infinity Reaper (2021)
- New York: Quill Tree Books. All quotes are from the 2021 hardcover edition.
- I drink every last drop of Reaper's Blood while looking up at the Crowned Dreamer. The elixir smells like burning bodies and tastes like iron and charcoal. The blood from the century phoenix, the golden-strand hydra, and the dead ghosts is heavy on my tongue like mud. My throat is burning and I'm this close to spitting out the rest, but I force myself to swallow it because this Reaper's Blood is game changing. I wasn't lucky enough to be born with powers- to be born a celestial. But now that I've absorbed these creature's abilities, the world will get to welcome me as their new champion- a one-of-a-kind, unkillable specter.
- p. 1
The First to Die at the End (2022)
- New York: Quill Tree Books. All quotes are from the 2022 hardcover edition.
- That night, I signed up for Death-Cast. Now I'm just hoping I won't be one of the first to get an inaugural End Day call. If I am, at least I'll know it's game over, I guess. Until then, I'm going to live it up.
- Orion Pagan, p. 3
- "You can chill with us if you want," I offer. "Some company would be nice. You sure you don't mind?" "Hell no. It's not like you know anyone else in the city." "I'm actually very popular. My landlord is pretty much my best friend." "I can't wait to meet him," I say, which is just so damn bold. "He's actually the worst, but I'll have to have you over soon anyway," Valentino says with that damn smile.
All right, all right, all right- if this isn't a thing, then I'm giving up on ever making the first move again. I'm going to need a guy to swear on my parents' grave that he loves me, and I won't even tell him that those plots are empty so that he doesn't get funny and lie. But because Valentino's got me weak, I wouldn't need all that. His smile alone has got me cashing in.
- Orion, p. 40-41
- Death-Cast isn't calling Orion because he's not going to die today, and I think I know why.
This night is unfolding like a photo shoot coming together. For once, I'm not the subject. I'm the photographer, and everything is zooming into focus, like I'm switching out lenses until I land on the best one. The background is still blurry, but if I adjust the aperture just enough, light enters and exposes the true model of this photo shoot. The boy with the constellation name. I've only seen some of his stars at work, but I understand the beauty. Orion is the focal point, so I stare at him and the sharpness of his hazel eyes and the hunched framing of his body, and once everything is aligned, just like stars in a constellation, everything becomes clear.
"You're going to live," I say. "Until tomorrow, I guess." "You're going to have much longer than you think." "So you got some psychic Death-Cast powers or something?" "No, but I think destiny brought us together so I can change your future." "I don't get it." "You don't need the waitlist anymore, Orion. I'll give you my heart."
- Valentino Prince, p. 134-135
- There's a knock at the door, and Valentino and Dr. Emeterio enter. This is it. Suspense really isn't good for someone with my condition, and every second of silence is brutal. "What's up?" I ask, wanting to get this over with, one way or the other. "It's nice that something good will come out of this," Valentino says, pressing his hand to his chest. My heart skips a beat, two, ten, a hundred, a thousand, a million, and somehow, I don't die on the spot. In fact, I'm going to live. I'm going to live, live, liv, live, live, live, live, live, live, live, live, live.
But first, he has to die.
- Orion, p. 147
- I came out as gay to Scarlett first moment alone when she was recovering at the hospital. "I love you, Val" was all Scarlett said out loud, and her knowing gaze said everything else. I'd wanted to come out to my parents that afternoon too, but they spent so much time praying at my sister's bedside that I knew I should wait. A couple days after Scarlett was home, I knew I had to make my move so I could get everyone to adjust to our new normal instead of returning to our old normal, where I had to be closeted. I sat my parents down in the living room and came right out with false confidence. It was tricky to tell if they already knew. I had thought about all the times my father would say "He's a queer" as an insult or how my mother suspected any single older man must be gay if they weren't married with kids. There weren't any knowing gazes from my parents like there were with my sister. But there were lectures- lots and lots of lectures with the headline being that I'm doomed to damnation if I choose sinning over Christ. Will my parents still tell me I'm going to Hell once they discover it's my End Day? I'll get my answer soon.
- Valentino, p. 452-453
- I'm going to live a first- the first time I talk openly about my life.
- Valentino, p. 457
- They both to the screen like they can't control themselves, like magnetism.
"You're probably wondering why this is news to you since I've known since midnight. It's because I was willing to die without telling you because I don't believe you care about my life. I am your only son. Your firstborn. The reason you became parents, and you have never even tried to love me once I told you I'm gay."
"They both wince, like I've said a bad word. Like I'm bad.
"There will come a time when you have to reckon with how you made me so unwelcome that I moved away. But I want to thank you for being so unloving because it pushed me out of your house and into the arms of a boy with the biggest heart. He's made sure my last day on this planet is filled with the love and kindness I deserve, and I'm going to spend what's left of my life with him even if that means I'm going to hell when it's all done."
- Valentino, p. 457-458