Author: Patrick Ness
Published: Walker Books, August 2015
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
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5 out of 5 stars
Mikey and his friends just want to go to prom and graduate high school… Is that too much to ask? They each have things going on in their lives already, without all the strange things going on in town and some indie kid probably ending up blowing up the high school – again. I mean, not everyone needs to be the Chosen One…
Ever read a book where many things just resonate with you? And even the things that don’t completely resonate with you, you can still understand and empathise? The Rest of Us Just Live Here is that book for me. It’s a little difficult to collect my thoughts and to articulate what I mean… Isn’t that what usually happens after reading the best kind of book though? The one which really spoke to you and possibly brought you to tears – maybe you aren’t even sure why you cried – and touched a nerve which you didn’t even know was there to be ‘touched’ in the first place.
This is an unusual book in the sense that it is about a group of people living their normal lives, while a bunch of supernatural things are going on in the background, but I find that Patrick Ness’ books often do contain a certain unusualness and maybe I love them all the more for it… They are teenagers just trying to survive high school and hope that the high school doesn’t blow up before graduation – which actually makes me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anyone remember Buffys’ graduation? All sorts of mayhem broke out on that day. We can all relate to that right? The need to just get through school and being worried – and excited – about what comes next? (Although, we don’t have to worry about the supernatural. Or do we? Anyone got anything they want to share? Haha.)
The book is filled with diversity, which is beautiful to see. Not just for the sake of diversity either; it’s realistic, because we are all different and each of us has some issue, no matter how big or small. I felt that it was a realistic portrayal of OCD, as Mikey suffers with this and I like the therapy session between Mikey and Dr. Luther.
‘Medication…is a failure?’
‘The biggest one. Like I’m so broken, I need medical help.’
‘Cancer patients don’t call chemotherapy a failure. Diabetics don’t call insulin a failure.’
‘This is different and you know it.’
‘I don’t know it. Why is it different?'”
Mikey’s relationship with his sisters was sweet and enviable.
“Yeah, my parents are crappy, but you hurt either of my sisters and I will spend my life finding ways to destroy you.”
The way in which the book was written with Mikey talking to you, telling the reader the story, was interesting and keeps the reader engaged with the book. Also, how you get little paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter about what is happening in the supernatural background was different and a little funny at times.
There wasn’t any of the main group of friends that I did not like. Jared was probably one of my favourites as he can be incredibly sweet and it’s beautiful and moving how he helps Mikey. Jared says something at some point about everyone not having to be the Chosen One and then later on he tells Mikey: “You’ve been the guy who saved me. Lots of times” and this made me think that no, not everyone has to be the Chosen One, but maybe you can be someones’ Chosen One. You save them again and again and don’t even realise it. A decision Mikey makes at the end, then makes me think that maybe we can be our own Chosen One, by learning to save ourselves. (Wow. That’s deep, haha.)
It’s a struggle to find the right words to do this book justice… Maybe, the words: Go read this magnificent beauty, will just have to suffice.