Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? Not everyone has to be the chosen one. The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death.
What if you were Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
And what if there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life?
Even if your best friend might be the God of mountain lions…
[Blurb taken from book]
What’s good about it? The characters. A million times the characters. Mikey, Henna, Mel, Jared, Meredith…they’re all wonderful and real.
Mikey’s such a delightfully unreliable narrator and occasionally just skips over chunks of narrative because he honestly thinks it would be dull (I mean, he’s right, but still). I also really, really loved the way his difficulties with his OCD were presented – he wasn’t just his illness but it was a part of him and the way his friends and family tried to help in their various little ways was really sweet.
Henna was just fabulous – all of them were really and the friendships and the care they showed for each other…it made me happy. Partly because it reminded me a little of my own group of friends at school (aside from one of them being part God of course).
What’s bad about it? It did take me a little time to register the whole two stories running in tandem bit. Mostly because the way the indie-kids’ story was presented reminded me of Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, which employs a similar technique but uses it to state the events of the chapter rather than to tell a separate story. It threw me for a couple of chapters but once I was into it, it was fab.
The verdict? I’ll come clean. Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors, so I was already prepared to love this from the get-go. And I wasn’t disappointed. I loved this. I loved all the little nods and teasing lines about the YA stories that have come before and the tropes that’ve been seen time and time again. The characters are brilliant and real and I really enjoyed the exploration of what happens to the bit-part players. The ones quietly getting on with their lives while the chosen one gets going with the latest big bad.
If you like books were everything is tied up by the end…you probably should give this a miss as there’s still a lot left unanswered – but that’s the point really. It’s life, and it’s messy and complicated. I very much enjoyed this.