Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: August 27th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
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 .
Latest posts by Celine (see all)
- Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - January 18, 2016
- Celine’s 2015 End of Year Survey - December 31, 2015
- Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy - September 7, 2015
- That Time I Reread the Entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series - August 26, 2015