Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian/Fantasy
Publisher: Walker Books
Started: 25th October 2015
Completed: 29th October 2015
Summary: Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’ bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren’t 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 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 might just be the God of mountain lions… – Amazon
Warning: May contain spoilers…
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the first book I’ve read by Patrick Ness. It’s a stand-alone book which is why I wanted to read it. I love reading series’ but sometimes I feel like I haven’t got time to read the whole series quickly. That’s why I love stand-alone books.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is Ness’ 10th young adult book and it is his most recent book to be released.
There’s a lot that I liked about this book.
I really liked most of the main characters. The characters in The Rest of Us Just Live Here are split up into the main group of ‘normal’ teenagers, including the protagonist Mikey, and the indie kids who are background characters. Each ‘normal’ character has their own set of problems though and some of these link into the supernatural elements of the book.
Mikey is a ‘normal’ teenager, he’s not an ‘indie kid’, but he does have to deal with many personal problems. His father is an alcoholic and his mother is a workaholic. He has anxiety issues which he struggles to control. His older sister, Mel, had an eating disorder that almost killed her. He believes that he is in love with one of his best friends, Henna, but maybe he’s just in love with the idea of her. He’s not an average teenager but he’s not an indie kid either. Despite Mikey being fairly normal I couldn’t really relate to him which made it difficult for me to relate to the book in some ways. I did like him as a character though and I do think that there’s a difference between relating to a character and liking them.
Jared, one of Mikey’s best friends, should be an ‘indie kid’ but he manages to avoid most of the drama surrounding that group of teenagers. He doesn’t live a normal life though and Jared keeps secrets from his friends, especially Mikey. I like Jared’s character because he was so different. It was interesting to watch someone strive to be as normal as possible when they weren’t normal at all.
I liked Mel and Meredith. Mikey’s sisters are the best characters in the book in my opinion. Meredith brings humour to the book but Mel brings a sense of maturity. It’s also nice that their family has some semblance of normality because of the sibling bonds that they share.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like Henna. I don’t know why. I started off really liking her character but for some reason by the end of the book I just didn’t like her as much as Mel or Meredith. This could be because the book is from Mikey’s point of view or maybe I just didn’t click with her character as much as I did with Mel.
I also enjoyed the plot of this book. There’s two intertwining plots in The Rest of Us Just Live Here which makes the book a really interesting read. The story of the indie kids is limited to small chapter introductions but the main body of the book belongs to the story of Mikey and his friends. Normally the main story would be about the ‘indie kids’ so it was nice to see what would normally be background characters brought to the forefront of this dystopian fantasy novel.
As there’s two plots there’s an odd mix of supernatural problems and normal problems. The supernatural is normalised although it isn’t directly happening to most of the main characters. It’s just something that happens to other people. However, the supernatural merges with the normal as we find out more about Jared and his ancestry.
I liked the ending. I thought that it was really hopeful that Mikey wanted to deal with his problems properly and he didn’t want the quick fix that was being offered. Even though the ending is ambiguous I thought that there was a real sense of hope for Mikey and his friends, even though they wouldn’t be together for much longer.
I think that Patrick Ness has a really fluid style of writing. I think that this book was very easy to read and it seemed to flow really well. I found that reading Ness’ writing was an enjoyable experience.
I gave this book 4 stars for a reason. I didn’t find many faults with it at all. That may be because this is the first Patrick Ness book I’ve read since people who have read his other works seem to find this one lacking in some way. I’ll find out when I read his other books
If I had to mention one thing that I disliked it would be the first person point of view. In some books I really enjoy 1st person but I didn’t enjoy it in this book. I couldn’t connect with Mikey at all, despite the book being from his point of view, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been in 3rd person.
Overall, I enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I’m definitely going to read more of Patrick Ness’ books in the future since I like his writing style. I just need to figure out which book I’m going to read next. Probably A Monster Calls…
I would recommend this book. I gave it 4 stars so it’s obvious that I liked it.