Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“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.”
You guys. This book.
YOU GUYS. THIS BOOK.
This book won’t be published until October 6, and I have already read it, and I have nobody to talk to about it, FEEL MY PAIN. Because, honestly?… this book might be the best thing to come out all year, in my humble opinion.
The synopsis sums it up beautifully when it says that “you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life”. This book is the geek way of capturing how much courage it takes to get through your days sometimes. The main characters are (mostly) normal, spending their days concerned about friends, family, grades and the future. And when you’re a teenager, that’s an awful lot to deal with. These kids are happy not to be the Chosen Ones (or as they call them, the indie kids) because saving the world is a lot to handle on top of getting ready for prom.
The structure of the novel is quite brilliant. Each chapter begins with a short rundown of what is going on with the indie kids and their world-shaking events. Much of what happens in that regard is never explained, and it doesn’t need to be, since it’s actually not the main story. It becomes pretty humorous to see these brief synopses of strange beings and deaths that are presented as throwaway info. Mikey and his friends almost never intersect with those events, so you read through the book knowing that these weird things are going on just off-camera, and I loved it.
On top of all of this awesome plotting, I just loved the characters. I really got invested in them, because they’re the kind of people that I would love to chat with, or mentor, or just have the opportunity to meet. They’re by no means perfect, but you can see them trying so hard to be mature as they work through the things that all young adults face–graduation, leaving friends and family behind, jobs and responsibility.
Best of all, because none of these kids is a “hero”, you really have no clue what’s going to happen to them. Typical stories can have trouble keeping the tension high, because you know that the main character isn’t going to die or have anything truly terrible happen directly to them. When you get a book that manages to make you question how things will turn out, that’s an excellent tale.
Once I get a bit of a break in my reading schedule, I’m going to re-read this one. I want to revisit Mikey and his friends, and I expect to make return trips into this story over time. With as much as I read, the fact that I plan on taking the time to re-read says a lot. Once this book comes out, pick it up. It’s creative and unique and awesome in the extreme.