Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: August, 2015
Goodreads | Book Depository
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.
Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
We've all been there: you're reading a YA novel and the main character is this incredible, special, unique person with abilities that you can only dream of. They are responsible for saving the world because the adults are useless and if they have to battle supernatural beings whilst struggling to choose between two perfect boys then so be it. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about the other kids. The ones like us who don't have to worry about fighting demons or vampires but just live their normal lives in their normal towns dealing with their normal problems and worries.
I mean, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy a good typical YA novel with that special character. The snowflake. I like them as much as the next YA fan: they're fun and entertaining and I get completely drawn into their worlds. But this was a really nice change. I enjoyed reading about the kids who are often forgotten about and who just want to make it to graduation without their school being blown up again by the indie kids. Instead of all the drama of supernatural battles, we have the very different, but equally as enjoyable to read, drama of sexuality, mental health problems and crappy family lives and how to make it through all of that.
The story focuses around Mikey and his group of friends who are close to graduating. At the beginning of each chapter we have a snippet of what is happening with the indie kids (you know who they are: the kids with really "out there" names who are the Chosen Ones and are singled out by the demons or whatever) before going back to Mikey's narration. I thought was a great way of keeping both stories running and the indie kid story is such a typical YA trope that I really laughed at some of the cliches popping up. It's very well done. The main story is thoroughly enjoyable because of the characters. They are excellently written as is the problems that they are all facing. Despite the fact there is a feeling of impending doom in their town, nothing detracts from the problems they all face and they continue to be extremely real. They might not be saving the world but what they are facing is just as important. None of the characters are perfect; they all have their issues and sometimes they do things that annoy you and that you might not be able to understand but they are real.
Patrick Ness makes fun of the typical YA genre and it really, really works. It's full of humour but more importantly it's a nice reminder that the everyday kids, all of us, are just as great as the special snowflakes.