(Review) The Rest of Us Just Live Here
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Pages: 336 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: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.
A few years ago I read The Knife of Never Letting Go series by Patrick Ness and was pretty impressed. I loved the fact that the story was written in the language of a young boy and that, even with the misspellings and different language, it was still an interesting and compelling story.
I haven't read any other of Ness' work, but the premise of this one seemed...not like anything I've heard of before. After I finished this book all I could think was that it would be like reading Twilight from Mike Newton's or Jessica Stanley's perspective, if that makes sense. These were two characters who were not key to the story, but still lived it somehow.
That's how the story with Mikey and his friends start. They know that things are happening around them, and that things have happened before. Weird things. Vampires. Ghosts. Immortals. But they aren't "the indie kids" so nothing exciting ever happens to them. They're just the normal kids. The weirdos. You know, they're everyone else in the story.
Only Mikey has OCD, Mel has an eating disorder, Jared is part god, Henna is beautiful, and where did Nathan even come from?
I thought it was funny that there were bits and pieces from the "story" at the beginning of each chapter so the reader (me) would know that something was happening while I was reading about the lives of ordinary kids.
Mikey's narrative was definitely interesting. He didn't really hide anything, including his insecurities or his love for Henna (and Jared). I thought his story was one that isn't told very often in YA novels. (Besides reading about Sam in Every Last Word, I haven't see a lot of YA characters with mental illnesses.) Mikey struggles with everyday things like high school, absent or alcoholic parents, friends, and worrying about his siblings.
Meredith, Mikey's and Mel's younger sister, was probably one of my favorite things about this book. She definitely kept it interesting and her love for boy bands is something a younger me can absolutely relate to.
I thought this book was good in a way that shows that normal teens are just that: normal teens. No, there wasn't a lot of action in the story, but there was a lot of growth. Mikey had to overcome a lot of things that really, he had brought upon himself. He was insecure around his friends and new people, not to mention that he struggled with an illness that he ultimately made a decision to get help with.
Reading about Mikey's growth and transformation was, to me, time well spent. I could almost sympathize with some of his feelings about always being the least needed. It's nice to feel important and needed, and his friends did a nice job reminding him of that.
A lot of the action in this book takes place in Mikey's head, so there are parts that seemed a little slow. All in all I felt that it was a nice story about some ordinary friends. Well, besides the fact that Jared is worhispped by cats and can heal people.
That part was a little weird.