Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: HarperTeen, October 2015
Genre: Young adult fantasy
How I got the book: I bought it
What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.
This was the second book I’ve read written by Patrick Ness. After reading When a Monster Calls from him, I figured any book written by him would be amazing. So, when I found this, I just had to pick it up.
I found the characters to be super interesting. They each had their own internal conflict. Mikey, the protagonist, has anxiety and OCD. It was really cool to read through the perspective of a character with those issues. I have an anxiety disorder myself and I could relate to a lot of his feelings. His sister was recovering from an eating disorder and his best friends each had something going on (not necessarily disabilities, though).
The characters weren’t the “chosen ones” so they just went on with their lives as normally as possible. It was an interesting perspective.
The point of this novel is that the characters are living their lives as normal as possible. Other things are happening in the world, but they’re not the “chosen ones.” They just go on with their lives and hope the chosen ones do survive. There are no heroes, no journeys, nothing.
I found the plot to be really cool because we’re set in a fantasy world with vampires and zombies and such, but it doesn’t really faze the main characters. There’s nothing they can do about it, so they just hope for the best and try to get good grades in school. I definitely like the idea of having the main cast not be the heroes of the story.
Each chapter was written in first-person through Mikey’s eyes. We followed his day, his internal issues, as well as his family and friend issues, and more. He is, for the most part, a normal teenager hoping to make it to graduation.
However, at the beginning of each chapter, there’s a quick paragraph about the “indie kids,” who are the chosen ones of the story saving the world. There’s a little blurb about them explaining what they’re doing and what they’re currently fighting. It’s an insight to what’s happening in the world while Mikey panics about prom.
I thought it was cool to see the “news” of the world but continue on as though not much is happening. Because, let’s face it, we see stuff happen on the news every day, good and bad, yet we still go to school and work because that’s what we’re supposed to do.
The novel had a great premise and was very well written. Patrick Ness just proved further to me that he’s a wonderful author. The characters and meaning behind the story was different and fun to read.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness gets…
5 out of 5 stars
“Give him words and sentences to put together and his forehead creases down so you can see exactly what he’ll look like when he’s eighty.” –Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here
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