Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: 27th August 2015
Summery : What if you weren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were 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 might just be the God of mountain lions…
Patrick Ness is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I recently read A Monster Calls (terribly late I know) so as soon as I noticed The Rest of Us Just Live Here in shops on its release date I knew that I had to read it soon. Patrick Ness is becoming my go-to author – that author that no matter what you’re going to buy their book when it’s released. You might not know anything about the story or if it’s actually any good, but you trust their writing so much you invest early! I can honestly say that I’m very very glad that I trusted my instincts with The Rest of Us Just Live Here.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a somewhat coming of age story based on the brink of a possible apocalypse, it’s very paranormal with a little bit of fantasy! Mikey is a teenager living in a teeny tiny town that probably is about to get caught up in the world ending (again.) That’s what it seems like when the Indie kids start dying and new boy Nathan starts hovering around his close friendship group. It’s not really up to Mikey, Henna, Mel and Jared to fix the mysterious blue lights, but they’re effected by it so obviously they’re going to get a little bit involved.
At the start I didn’t really know what to make of this book (I know I probably judged it too early.) Paranormal is not a genre that I read often and what I have read I didn’t overly like. If I read something that’s ‘out of this world’ I like to believe I’m still actually firmly situated on earth with real earthlings! It only took about thirty pages or so to really get in to this novel, to be completely invested. The paranormal aspects to this book aren’t obvious, they’re hidden away and sometimes you forget everything about the vampires and zombies until Jared, God of Cats is mentioned again!
The beginning of each chapter starts with a short incite in to the high fantasy back story to this novel before the chapter continues. Admittedly I ignored these additions all the way through and went back at the end and read them all like their own little novel. For me that worked as I didn’t get confused between stories while reading, for some other people it might not. I still found the whole novel to be completely understandable. But I will add that it was a very clever way of opening chapters. Well done Mr Ness!
For me it was the characters that kept me really wanting to know what happens. I absolutely adore books with really strong friendships and if those friendships are in a mixed gender group I’m pretty much sold right away. The bond between Mikey and his sister Mel was so beautiful and real it was hard not to keep reading. The way that Jared cared for Mikey so much was heart-breaking and Mikey’s longing for Henna was cringingly brilliant. All together they made one of my favourite YA friendship groups of all time.
The Best aspect to this novel was the issues that it dealt with on the side. Social issues such as eating disorders and OCD were present in the book without ramming them down your throats shouting “this is a book about mental problems!” I have always thought that having protagonists with mental problems, aside from the storyline is a smart move on the authors’ part. They’re addressing issues that a lot of teenagers face without having to openly state that the book is about therapy and drugs. This is definitely something that Patrick made work so beautifully in The Rest of Us Live Here.
Once again Patrick Ness manages to create an absolutely stunning novel with flawless writing. I’ve never seen a bad word against his writing style and how he carries a novel, there’s a reason why! John Green himself is quoted on the back of The Rest of Us Just Live Here saying “Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer” and we all know that John Green is never wrong! This story was not written as tragically as some of his other novels, it didn’t make me weep or even shed a tear. However I think it was written perfectly for the story, any added sadness would have been un-necessary.
I enjoyed this new release a lot more than I’d originally thought, maybe I need to open up my mind a little more! Any fans of YA contemporary fiction would love this, it has something for everyone. And if this review hasn’t persuaded you to pick up a copy ASAP, the absolutely stunning cover might do!