The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Walker Books
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: 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.
(summary taken from goodreads).
My opinion on the book:
I got to admit, i wasn’t very sure if i should pick the book or not, it’s not the first Patrick Ness’ book i try, a while ago i tried reading The Knife Of Never Letting Go but couldn’t go through it.
The setup on this book is completely different to the Chaos Walking trilogy setting though, more like the one we live on. In the book we get to see the story of the background characters of a much bigger story.
The main characters of the book are a group of friends that get to sort of watch from the outside what the ‘indie kids’ (the main characters of the bigger story) are doing but don’t get the bigger picture because they aren’t really a part of it. I really loved the fact that although the main characters of the ‘secondary’ storyline were not related to what the indie kids were doing they got in the middle of the fight between “good and evil” that was going on in town. Strange things kept happening but no one got to explain to them what was really going on and so they just kept up with their lives as if nothing happen, even though kids were dying, a lot.
From the very beginning you can see that the background characters had seen things that happened before, but no one really talks about the weird stuff that happens in town, especially not the grown ups, whom appear to be completely unaware of all the crazy stuff; vampires, soul-eating ghosts and so on.
Mikey as the main main character of the background story is a bit curious of all that’s going on but at the end of the day all he wants is to get through high school without any complications, such as the fact that he is in love with one of his friends, his anxiety and the OCD he suffers from. This may sound as the ever endless angsty teenge story but it is so much more than that.
Because the ‘major’ storyline is happening without us seeing it, each ‘chapter’s title’ is actually a summary of what is happening with the indie kids. I found it to be a very clever way of not only guiding the reader through the story but also a way of demostrating how all the storyline in that kind of books look alike.
Another point i want to remark from the book is chapter 16, in this chapter Mikey goes to talk to his therapist. Before this happens Mikey realizes he is falling into these endless loops while trying to make things the right way so he can continue with life but when he sees he isn’t capable to do it himself he reaches out for help.
Normally, books dealing with some sort of mental illness are pretty much the same, person needs help, they get it, they start to feel better, stop taking the meds, relapses, needs help again but aren’t aware of it, other people see they need help, they do something about it, main character gets meds again, eveyryone is happy again, the end.
Now, this is not what happens in the book, not only Mike is able to see for himself that he needs help, the talk with the therapist feels very real, it was very moving actually (i was in tears the whole chapter), because the therapist explains what is happening and all wthout falling in the so well known cliches of the mental illness, actually the talk sounded very much as the one i had with my last psychatrist.
I also really enjoyed the resolution of the book, i found it to be more realistic that the normal YA book, which is sort of refreshing to be honest.
In conclusion, although i’ve seen many people giving the book bad reviews, in my opinion the book is a very realistic way of what really happens in our lives, when even though the lives of others seem to be so much more important and fullfilling than ours. The fact that others get to be so intense doesn’t mean our lives aren’t full of important moments, each one of us gets to go through their own problems and the fact that ones’ are more ‘normal’ doesn’t mean they are less important or difficult to deal with.
We aren’t all meant for greatness, but we are all here to live the lives we got at their fullest, and i think this book caught that feeling at its best.
If i spoiled something from the book, even though i already said how much i hate that, i’m really sorry, but the part i mostly commented on was a very significant one for me and i needed to express it as much as i could. I hope you can enjoy this book as much as i did.
Another book that goes right to my favorite bookshelf and list 🙂
‘Til next time!