TITLE: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here
AUTHOR: Patrick Ness
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
GENRE: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary, LGBT
RATING: 4/5 Stars
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 I Liked:
- So, the main plot premise of this book is absolutely genius. Anyone who's read any kind of Teen Paranormal fiction has probably encountered a group of teens, one being the 'chosen one' who have to fight against a supernatural threat and survive school at the same time, right? Well what if instead of being the chosen one, you were that character that is both slightly aware of something going on, but not part of the action? This is the idea behind 'The Rest Of Us Just Live Here' and each chapter starts with a mini description of what's going on for the special kids before telling it all from the POV of a 'side character' who would normally barely get a line in. I thought that idea alone was super cool, and once again displayed Ness' knack of mixing genres in unusual ways.
- I am all about diversity, and this had it by the bucket-load. Different ethnicities and cultures and LGBT coverage both play a big part here, but most of all I liked the attention given to two Mental Health disorders I rarely see given the proper coverage in YA: Anorexia and OCD. Of course I've read about characters with OCD traits who have to wash their hands a couple of times extra or like their desk straight, but never have I read about getting stuck in loops like Mikey does in this book. I realised too that eating disorders are a topic I have never read about either, which was a shocking revelation, so thanks Mr Ness for handling that sensitively too.
What I Disliked:
- I guess what ended up making this my least favourite of the three Ness reads I've got through is that I didn't gel well with the characters. Mikey was a fairly irritating, pretty selfish and petty narrator a lot of the time who rarely gave me any reason to like or feel sorry for him (aside from the crippling OCD). He also kept telling me how to feel about characters: 'I know she sounds like she's really horrible, and bossy, and rude, but she really isn't and that's how you should feel.' Show me then! Don't tell me what my opinion should be! Henna was another character that made me feel really mad. The way that she treated the men in her life was appalling! I wish that I could have at least empathised with them a little more...
Despite the characters letting me down a little in this one, I really did enjoy this book a lot. Not all the characters let me down, I'm a firm believer that everyone needs a Jared in their life. Also, Ness' writing was as awesome as ever and I still adored so many things about this book: plot idea, diversity etc. I'm definitely a lifelong Patrick Ness fan, now and forever!