I received this ARC from Publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published by HarperCollins on October 6th 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
It’s no secret that Patrick Ness is one of my all time favorite authors. His Chaos Walking trilogy (which starts with The Knife of Never Letting Go) is simply amazing. I just love the way he tells a story. I’ve been lucky enough to hear him speak at a couple different events and I’ve been impressed every time. So what I’m saying is, I had really high expectations for The Rest of Us Just Live Here. You can imagine how dazzled I was when it totally blew those expectations out of the water.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here contains two stories occurring in the same small town concurrently. Each chapter starts with a summary of the “Chosen One” type story. You know, like if each chapter in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson we condensed into a paragraph summary. This is not the main story. It’s a story of something that is happening and affects the main characters but it isn’t their story. Their story is the one you don’t normally see in “Chosen One” stories. It’s the story of all those other kids in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson… the kids just trying to pass the next test or decide where to go Friday night, all while waiting for the Chosen One to destroy the most recent evil. Oh my stars, did I love this! It was so clever and witty and so, so much fun!
For most of the book we follow Mikey. He’s an average teen dealing with “everyday” problems (not the “Saving the World” type!) He’s smart and funny and I was immediately invested in his life and the lives of the people he cares about. They had me laughing one minute and my heart breaking for them the next. They’re not the ones dealing with all the crazy stuff going down, but they’ve still got important issues to contend with. From what’s going to happen after graduation and dealing with parents to eating disorders and OCD, these issues are just as important to them as whatever’s happening with the strange blue lights and suspicious deaths. In the midst of all this Ness works in so many truths about life and growing up and just everything. Here’s one of my favorite quotations (taken from the ARC):
Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.
There are just so many amazing layers to this story. I want to read it again and again and again. I highly recommend checking The Rest of Us Just Live Here out.