Book review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Source: Purchased

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…

When I bought this book, I knew nothing about it other than it had a fun title and I’d heard good things about Patrick Ness. I started reading it without having even read the synopsis, and I knew almost immediately that I’d love it.

I’ve read countless YA books about the “Chosen One.” There’s Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Mortal Instruments, Throne of Glass… I could go on. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that trope. When it’s written well, it can make for a really good story. One of my all-time favorite TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also bases itself around this trope.

Ness takes this trope and turns it around, focusing instead on the kids who aren’t involved in all of the supernatural happenings. While the indie kids are off in the background dealing with vampires and zombies and ghosts and mysterious blue lights, Mike and his friends are sorting out their own problems. They’re dealing with relationship drama, mental illness, stress about graduation, and less-than-stellar parenting. This book deals with a lot of issues in a relatively short amount of pages.

I think my favorite part of the book was the almost sassy descriptions of the indie kids at the beginning of each chapter. I also loved the way the seemingly unrelated activities of the indie kids were woven into the story toward the end. Quite honestly, there was very little that it didn’t love about this book. Also, bonus points for tons of cats.

I would highly recommend this book if you’re interested in seeing a common trope turned on its head and maybe even made fun of a little bit. I can’t wait to read more from Ness.

#killingthetbr: five months on shelf


Have you read The Rest of Us Just Live Here? Which book by Ness should I read next?
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