Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young adult fiction
Published: By Bolinda Audio on August 27th, 2015
ISBN13: 9781406331165 (UK hardcover edition)
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 worshiped by mountain lions.
I had heard only good things about Patrick Ness’s books. Almost all of them are award-winning works that have received only praise from the reading community. One of my close friends has recommended his Chaos Walking trilogy to me over and over. However, I wasn’t in the mood to commit to a series, so I decided to try this since it was available on audio. I set lower expectations for myself since this was his least loved book according to the reviews on Goodreads.
I loved this book solely because I read it at the right time. I don’t mean that the book is bad in any way, just that it wouldn’t be as relatable if I’d read it at any other time. Part of the reason I loved it so much was Mikey’s character. He was one of the most relatable characters I’ve read in recent times although I’m not in the same place he’s in. He feels like an outsider in his friends group and struggles to keep his anxiety and OCD at bay every day. While I don’t personally suffer from any of those, I felt represented by other parts of his personality. All of the other characters, especially his bunch of close friends that he thinks of as family, were adorable and flawed in their own ways. My favourites were Jared, Henna and Mikey’s mom.
Coming to the plot, I thought that the idea of combining elements of fantasy in a contemporary plotline was very well done. The little titbits featuring the “indie kids” at the start of every chapter was the perfect amount needed to keep the subplot as interesting as the main one. Although it tackles large themes and features an end-of-the-world climax, it had an air of light-heartedness that made it an easier read. The writing was pretty good and I found some of the lines extremely quotable. It also has some amazing diverse representation that was refreshing to read.
It is one of the best genre-bending contemporaries I’ve ever read and I’d highly recommend it to just about everybody. For the music, I’d suggest some ambient study time mixes as this has a high school setting and would work really well. For the food, I’d say keep some snacks such as popcorn or chips and some chocolate handy because they fit the mood of the book perfectly.
Have you read this book or any other works of this author before? If yes, what did you think? Which is the best book that you’ve read that is hard to place in any one genre? Let me know in the comments section below.