By: Celine | August 13, 2015 | (70) Comments

Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: August 27th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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 worshiped by mountain lions.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here was my first ever Patrick Ness read, and I have to say I’m very impressed. In a letter to the reader, Ness explains that he wanted to explore how it is not to be the chosen one. You know, the people who just live in that one town where strange things always seem to be happening. They’re not exploring alternate dimensions or saving the world – they’re trying to figure out their lives and they hope the high school won’t get blown up (again) before they graduate. They worry about grades, battle (mental) illnesses, and basically just live like any other teenager, albeit in a bit of a weird town.

The way Ness set up this concept, aside from just plain old refreshing, was masterfully done. Each chapter opens with a few sentences that summarize what’s happening in the ” Chosen One” storyline. These little summaries give you a glimpse into the ‘ traditional’ story and also subtly poke fun at all the “Chosen One” stories and cliches. They often had me laughing out loud because there are simply a lot of little jabs at all the cliches we all know and are tired of. Like how most of the ‘indie kids’ are either named Finn or something ridiculous like ” Satchel”. I just loved how this was done.

But of course, the most important part is our actual story, which is about a broken family and strong friendships and general loveliness. Our main character is Mikey, and oh gosh, I felt for him so much. Mikey suffers from anxiety, he gets stuck in ‘loops’  where he keeps doing the same thing over and over again, and I think I can also safely say he is (at least somewhat) depressed. I just felt for him so much, guys, and my heart just went out to him. There’s this scene near the end of the book where he confesses things to his therapist and I nearly cried (and I never, ever, ever cry over books) and I could relate to it so much. I think that, apart from this being a really original and absorbing story, this is also such an important read for people who have anxiety or depression. It portrays some mindsets that I think those people can really relate to, and The Rest of Us Just LIve Here also shows how damaging and untrue those mindsets are without ever mocking or doing injustice to those mental ilnesses.

What I’ve written above is, for me, the most important part of the novel, but I think it shines in other ways too. The characters are all fantastic, and while I didn’t like all of them, I certainly liked most of them and I was impressed by the way Ness set these characters up. They had their quirks and their inside jokes, their flaws and their strengths. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is amazingly diverse, too, and basically I am just singing this book praises over and over again.

While I think some parts could have been a little more polished, The Rest of Us Just Live Here was a fantastic and important story. With originality, a subtle parody of the typical “Chosen One” storylines, diversity in all forms and an important message, I think it’s safe to say that The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a must-read .

4 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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70 Responses to Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

  1. Oh my god I’m so happy you loved this one!
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{Bookish Babble} My Reading Playlist (at the moment)My Profile

  2. I have tried, on my occasions to read his other series, but I’m not quite getting the style of his writing. It was hard for me. I’m looking forward to reading this one, though. In the hopes that i’ll finally solve the puzzle that is, Patrick Ness.
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  3. This sounds wonderful! And I love what you wrote here: “They’re not exploring alternate dimensions or saving the world – they’re trying to figure out their lives and they hope the high school won’t get blown up (again) before they graduate. They worry about grades, battle (mental) illnesses, and basically just live like any other teenager, albeit in a bit of a weird town.” This not my usual read, but this sounds unique and I’m definitely going to take a look.
    Wonderful review, Celine 🙂
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  4. Vane says:

    I’ve never read anything by this author before, but people kept telling me not to start with this one because it was “weak.” From what you said, I’m pretty sure I would enjoy reading a book about someone ordinary. Great review!
    Vane recently posted…Review: Heir of FireMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Really? I haven’t read anything else of his so I wouldn’t know whether this is a weaker work or not. But on its own I think it’s pretty good 🙂 And hey, otherwise it’ll just get better after this one right?
      Thank you <33

  5. Hannah says:

    So glad you enjoyed this one! The author’s style usually works well for me, and I was super impressed with the way he dealt with the various aspects of mental illness. I’d definitely rec the Chaos Walking trilogy of his.
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  6. I’m glad to hear that you loved this one so much. I do want to read it. It sounds like a really unique, well-done novel. I also like that it touches on mental illness – I always appreciate those books!

    -Lauren
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  7. Angel says:

    I’m reading it now and it’s just so so so wonderful! Patrick Ness is a brilliant writer!
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  8. YESSS I absolutely LOVED it! One of my favourite reads this year for sure. And that scene with the therapist – ohhhh my gosh *sobs* And how it was just dialogue and you could still tell all the emotions…

    <3 Great review, Celine.
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…Second Chance Summer // I haven’t cried this much since TFiOSMy Profile

  9. I always wondered what it must have been like for all of the normal kids at Hogwarts. This novel sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I’m surprised that the main character is depressed though. It doesn’t sound like that was done humorously either. But the quirky characters sound good, so I’m torn. I’m glad you enjoyed it though. I’ve only read the Chaos Walking trilogy by Ness and he managed to make me cry. I’m not the I cried so I loved it kind of reader, so I thought the books were just okay. I know I’m the oddball on that one.
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    • Celine says:

      I think it’s safe to say the overall tone of the book was light, but it was still truthful and honest. There were some scenes that pulled on my heartstrings. I haven’t read the Chaos Walking trilogy so I can’t say anything about that, haha.

    • Diandra says:

      This site is like a clrmoasos, except I don’t hate it. lol

  10. Emma says:

    This book sounds great! Glad you liked it. I’m definitely adding this book to my TBR list.
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  11. Lexa Cain says:

    What a great review! Now I really want to read this book! 🙂
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  12. I’m so sick of reading about books where the heroine is always such a special snowflake. It’s always so unrealistic, you know? Which is probably why I’m looking forward to this book so much – it features a protagonist we can all really relate to and understand – someone who isn’t necessarily anyone important or special, but affects you all the same.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful review Celine! ♥
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    • Celine says:

      Yes exactly! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved some “chosen one” stories, but it’s so refreshing to see the pov of someone ordinary, for once. Someone just like us 🙂

      Thank you Zoe <333

  13. Linda says:

    Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors and the Chaos Walking trilogy in my opinion is one of his best works! Really interested to read this one soon and I’m glad that you gave it a high rating! I’ll definitely be adding this to my tbr pile 🙂
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    • Celine says:

      I’ve heard lots of good things about Chaos Walking! Looks like I’ll have to check it out 😀 I hope this one works out for you just as well 🙂

  14. AHHHH I LOVE IT SO MUCH TOO!! I WAS LIKE 100000% IMPRESSED AND JUS TWANTED TO LOVE AND HUG ALL THE CHARCTERS. I adored Mikey and Mel’s siblingness too. :’) Siblings in books always hit me in the feels, and just the relatableness of everyone being normal?! (WELL. Except for the God of the lions/cats. xD) I’m a huge Patrick Ness fan and this just cemented his genius for me. 😀
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    • Celine says:

      JUST LET ME HUG EVERYONE. I just loved everyone so much and all their relationships and AHHH. I am not surprised Ness is one of your favourites if he always writes like this. *checks out all his other books*

  15. Great review. I have never read a Patrick Ness book before, but I have heard amazing things about all of his books. I need to check this one out.
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  16. Claire says:

    I’ve only read one Patrick Ness book (More Than This) and I found it just okay.I enjoyed it, but I’d never re-read it. This book has totally grabbed my interest, both through it’s concept and the reviews I’ve read, and I just feel the urge to read it ASAP.
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  17. One thing is for sure about this book is that it has a lot of things going for it! I read in another review that it was more a philosophical book that talks about how we should live the way we want to live, and today your review talks about how it kind of mocks the Chosen One theme, and I love the concept of both! And the fact that it is incredibly diverse? Definitely a plus. I’ve read the author’s THE MONSTER CALLS and I have no doubt I’ll love this one, too!
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    • Celine says:

      I definitely think this book has a lot going on theme-wise! I think it’s one of those books that goes down differently for everyone. So maybe you’ll find something new entirely within the pages 🙂

  18. This’ll be my first Patrick Ness read too (when I get my hands on it) and I cannot WAIT for it. The concept is so interesting, where you take a look at “the other characters” that normally get pushed aside in favour for the Chosen One and their adventure. I also head it has a glow in the dark cover! If I don’t end up liking it, I still won’t regret it because glow. in. the. DARK.
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  19. Karin says:

    The concept of this books sounds amazing and finally someone addresses what I’ve been asking myself for as long as I’ve been reading books about the chosen ones.
    I actually really didn’t like The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which is why I haven’t even considered picking up another of his books. But this one just sounds so great that I’m definitely going to give Ness another chance. Great review, Celine! 🙂
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    • Celine says:

      I haven’t read anything else by Ness, so I can’t really talk about that, I’m afraid! But I do know most of his books are pretty different from each other, so I hope you’ll like this one better 🙂 Thank you! <33

  20. Yayy Celine! I have this one on my TBR too and I love the sound of the diversity and the therapist talks and stuff. The characters sound flawed – and realistic. Lovely review!
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  21. Lyn Kaye says:

    Ness is a wonderful writer. I had to stop reading the first series I picked up by him (The Knife of Never Letting Go) because some of the content upset me, but his writing is outstanding! I would love to give hi a second chance!
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    • Celine says:

      I haven’t read anything else by Ness, but I definitely loved this one 🙂 I don’t know about the content of The Knife of Never Letting Go, but apart from what I mentioned in my review I don’t think there are a lot of, or even any, shocking or upsetting things.

  22. Melanie says:

    Eeep so awesome that you loved this one, girl! I’ve been meaning to get to this one as I have loved everything that I’ve read by Ness so far.

    Gorgeous review, hun <33

    • Celine says:

      This was my first Ness read but I’m definitely going to check out his other stuff 😀

      Thank youu <33
      (I TYPED THIS COMMENT ON MY MACBOOK AIR I STILL CAN'T QUITE BELIEVE IT)

  23. I’ve heard so many great things about Ness. I was tempted to buy one of his novels last night on my trip to Barnes and Noble but passed… dang it! So adding to my list though!
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  24. Valerie says:

    Ok so I didn’t know this was a parody of the whole Chosen/Special Snowflake trope, so I am so so glad that I have this book. This will be my first Ness book that I read 🙂 Awesome review Celine! I’m very excited to get to this!
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  25. Tanja says:

    I really feel bad as I still haven’t read any of Patrick’s books, and I keep hearing how amazing they are. I will have to change that and I might start with this one as it seems different and unusual. I’m always up for something like that. Great review 🙂
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    • Celine says:

      This was my first Ness book, so I definitely get that feeling! This one was certainly unique and refreshing – hope you’ll love it! Thank you <33

  26. Great review. I am so eager to read this book, it sounds so good. I definitely will be getting my hands on a copy of this as soon as I can.
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  27. This was your FIRST Ness read?! OMG! He’s an amazing author. I love his previous works, too. I’ve yet to read this one, but I’ve read only seen really good reviews for this book. I am interested to know how things play out for the “non-chosen ones”. Lovely review, Celine!
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  28. Ksenia says:

    Wonderful review, Celine! I’ve only read one book by Patrick Ness, and unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I really like this idea, how it is not to be the chosen one, so I’ll probably give this book a try.
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    • Celine says:

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear that! This was my first Ness read so I can’t say anything about his other books 🙂 But! I hope this one turns out better for you 🙂

  29. This book was talked about in the HarperCollins preview. I was so blown away by the concept. I actually have it so I’m SO INTERESTED IN IT. This is one of those books that is like the opposite of HP and even though I love HP, I want to read this SO MUCH! So glad you enjoyed it.
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  30. Wonderful review Celine! I have this book to review so I’m really looking forward to starting it and I love the way it subverts the ‘chosen one’ idea. Patrick Ness always seems to have such a unique way of writing and expressing some unique concepts, so this looks promising. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  31. Great review! Definitely makes me want to pick this one ASAP, plus the cover isn’t hard on the eyes!
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  32. I knew that I already wanted to read this book because of the “chosen ones” theme but I didn’t realize that it would be so moving. I was expecting it to be like a quirky highschool kid talking about how he was the underdog or something. But I guess, since this is Patrick Ness, that it would be so much more than that. Fabulous review!
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  33. Oooh this sounds sooo good. My friends keep pestering me to read Patrick Ness, so I should go on an epic journey to find it. the chosen one genre is so overused so this sounds quite fascinating. 😀
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  34. I was also really impressed by this book. It’s my second book by Ness and I’m definitely curious to read more by him. I found it so refreshing 🙂

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