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

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: August, 2015
Rating:
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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 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.

10 comments:

  1. I've been curious about The Rest of Us Just Live Here! Thanks for your review; I'll have to read it I love how you compared kids to snowflakes at the end! Happy Wednesday! :)

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    1. Thank you! I definitely recommend reading it; it makes a nice change from the typical YA books :)

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  2. I've seen this book around! Your review makes me want to go find this book asap! The fact that none of the characters are perfect, yet are still the heroes of their own story is something I'd love to read!
    Great review :)
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

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    1. I kept seeing it around too! That's what I really enjoyed about it too, it was nice to read about the normal kids for a change! I hope you enjoy it too! :)

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  3. Thanks for the review! This one is on my TBR. But I think I'm going to read it very soon. :)

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  4. I bought this book at New York Comic Con when the books were buy one get one free at the Harper Booth. I didn't read it yet, but your review really makes me want to get to it RIGHT away. I hope I do, and I hope I love it as much as you did! Fantastic review. :)

    http://novelsandnecklaces.blogspot.com

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    1. Ohh BOGOF sounds amazing! I would love to go to Comic Con one year. Thank you! I really hope you enjoy reading it too :)

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  5. I am incredibly excited to read this, Nicola, and each review I've read only makes me want to read it more intently. I really love the idea for this book and the way it seems to be told just strikes me as incredibly amusing and unique, and aah, I'm really keen for it. So happy that my library bought a copy! SOON IT WILL BE MINE. I also am really happy that the "chosen ones" get their part in the story, too, because not only can I imagine it'll be really amusing, like you say, with the clichees and all that, but I'm always interested in the chosen ones. I can't help it!
    Lovely review! xx

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    1. Reading all the reviews made me want to read it immediately too! It's definitely a nice spin on the usual YA book and I loved that we still got a little bit of the story of the chosen ones but it was mainly focused on the normal kids. I really hope that you love it as much as I did!
      Thank you! :) <3

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