The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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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

Summary:

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.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

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.

rp-characters

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.

rp-plot

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.

 

rp-writing-style

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.

rp-overall

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-stars5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“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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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

a monster calls book review patrick ness rachel poli

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fiction, family issues
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

My Review (may contain spoilers):

I found out about this book from Jen at Combustible Reviews and it sounded intriguing. When it caught my eye in the bookstore, I forgot what the story was about and even after I read the summary on the back, I still thought the book was about drugs.

You know… “Monster?” Drugs? Maybe it’s just me.

I bought it and put it on my list to be read soon. I read the book in one sitting, in just a little over two hours.

The book is 225 pages, so it’s fairly quick. The story was fast-paced, but I was still able to get just enough information about the characters and the plot itself.

We follow Conor, a 13-year-old boy, as he battles demons at school, at home, and in his mind. They all lead back to the same thing as he tries to overcome his fears–as he tries to admit the truth to himself and to everyone else around him.

The novel itself was heartbreaking. I completely broke down and cried hysterically as I read the last few chapters. The story keeps building and building, getting more and more intense as it goes on. By those last couple of chapters, the intensity is too much and the story just zips right through. I couldn’t not turn to the next page.

I even caught myself trying to skim ahead so I could find out what was going to happen immediately.

The whole story was sad and the ending was bittersweet, though it was a very satisfying read.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and haunt.” –Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

If you want to see what I’ll be reading next, check out my Goodreads profile. If you want to see what I’ve already reviewed, check out my Reading List.

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