(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on October 6th 2015
Genres: Boys & Men, Family, Friendship, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult
A new YA novel from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning A Monster Calls and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.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.
What if Divergent was told from the perspective of some random Erudite or the Hunger Games was told from the perspective of some random Capital resident.
Did you ever wonder about the lives of all those people who aren’t the heroes… the ones who aren’t there to save the world… the people in the background? What if the story is about the people who aren’t on earth to save the town from vampires or keep the school from blowing up before prom? Would you still be interested? You should be if it’s written by Patrick Ness!
I’m still somewhat new to Patrick Ness. I own a lot of his books, I just haven’t read them… but this one had me from the first time I read the summary. Maybe because I feel like if I lived in a world of superheroes and powers, I would be one of those on the sideline wondering if the guy I liked maybe liked me back or worrying about getting my homework done.
“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. 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.”
I really love how Ness created this story. Each chapter stars with a little bit of background on the big “save the world” issues that the Indies (the kids with the powers) are dealing with, but that’s all you get. It’s in the background and their story isn’t this story.
Big picture, the issues that are going on that the Indie kids are dealing with, definitely have an impact on our normal kids, but the story really focuses more on the day to day lives of our cast of characters. And what a unique perspective Ness created here.
Mike is our narrator, he’s worried about the girl he thinks he’s in love with falling for someone else, he’s worried about his sister who died once, and he’s worried about his best friend who is part God, (yes that’s what I said) and is keeping something from him. I really, really liked Mike. I thought he was a wonderful friend, an amazing brother and I found that I really cared what was happening in his life. The thing impacting him the most right now was his obsessive compulsions, and I thought Ness did an amazing job portraying them and I also think he did a wonderful job showing the support of his friends and getting help.
Ness has created a complex and layered cast of characters here… all dealing with realistic issues that aren’t saving the world. Mental Illness, LGBTQ, eating disorders, parental expectations all normal everyday issues in a world where not everything is considered normal. I think what Ness does so well though is capturing that these characters are not perfect, they have faults they make mistakes, they aren’t superheroes but what we also get to see is that even the ones who are supposed to be heroes fall down too.
Fans of contemporary will definitely find themselves engrossed in this story. With witty dialogue, humor, wonderful writing and a refreshing, unique story, I couldn’t put this down.
Thank you to Harper Teen for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.