The Rest of us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness
Hey all! I just finished The Rest of us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness!
"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.”
Okay so you know how there’s so many tropes in YA books? Some people like some that others hate, and vice versa. This is a YA book that basically makes fun of all of those tropes, and it is done PERFECTLY!
The Rest of us Just Live here is about a group of four friends - Mikey, the main character, Jared, Mel and Hanna. They are going to graduate high school soon, and they’re... just going through life, really.
Okay so let me explain something first. This is basically our world. These four are ‘normal’ kids, like you and me, and some people are around them are the ‘indie kids’. Here’s a quote that explains them well:
‘The Indie kids, huh? You’ve got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes and names from the fifties. Nice enough, never mean, but always the ones who end up being the chosen one when the vampires come calling or when the alien queen needs the source of all light or something. They’re too cool to ever, ever do anything like go to prom or listen to music other than jazz while reading poetry. They’ve always got some story going on that they’re the heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.
Having said that, the indie kids do die a lot. Which much suck.” ~ Patrick Ness
If you think about it, most main characters do completely fit that description. I never thought about it that way before, but it’s so true! At the beginning of each chapter, there’s a short story with the Indie Kids, and they practically go through every single YA trope - insta-love, dangerous tasks, magical items, monsters, etc...
Now I’m not bashing any other YA tropes or characters through this review. However, this book did put things in an interesting light.
So these 4 friends are close to graduating, and they get caught in the blurry border between being caught in the action and being on the sidelines - they get in a car crash for running into a deer, they get interrogated by strange policemen, see the indie kids running for their lives, etc... Mikey is freaking out about that. He is sure that a new guy, Nathan, has everything to do with it.
This book’s end-of-highschool setting really hit home - a friend and I have been nostalgic about our end of high school, which was two years ago, and the whole process these characters are going through of worrying about universities, graduating, and exams was super familiar.
What’s good is that Ness could have easily made the ‘normals’ even more normal. But he chose to have them have normal peculiarities.
Mikey is such a great protagonist! He has anxiety issues, so he’ll repeatedly do actions such as washing his hands or counting the corners of a book over and over again until someone gets him out of his loop. But he’s also genuinely nice, and trying. He wants to be important, even though he may not be. He is also very much in love with Hanna, one of his best friends.
Hanna is sweet as well! After graduation, she has plans to help out in Africa. She is very open around Mikey, and is a really good friend.
Jared is probably my favorite character. Him and Mikey are ‘chosen brothers’, like parabati I guess? They have such a good connection. I’m not sure if this counts as a spoiler or not, but he’s the grandson of the goddess of cats, which means he can heal them, as well as others. He’s gay, but that never is forced onto anyone, which I though was nice.
Mel is Mikey’s older sister, who almost died of anorexia a few years before the events of the book. She has her own problems to deal with, but is also very close to the group.
This book was incredibly refreshing. It was so nice to read about ‘our’ side of things. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it this much!
I’m giving this book a 5/5 feathers!!
Have you read The Rest of Us Just Live Here? Let me know what you thought!