Published by Walker Books on 27 August 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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.
Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is simply brilliant! Well written, going very deep into the coming of age theme, and with a very diverse cast, as well as diversity in other ways as well.
With all the paranormal young adult novels out there, The Rest of Us Just Live Here takes a completely different perspective. It’s like a meta-story of a paranormal novel, because the main characters are ‘just’ the normal people. The ones the usual heroes don’t really care about, because they’re off fighting the vampires or the fae or the dangerous shapeshifters. Here, we get to follow the teens who are aware of the paranormal aspect of their world, but how aren’t really special. They talk about the special kids, and how it must be both exhilarating and scary to be in their shoes. These ‘normal’ kids have their own problems and heartaches, and in some ways their story reads like a contemporary YA, apart from the fact that they know about all the things that go bump in the night.
I found the characters to be very well done, they were diverse in many ways, and they don’t need to be indie kids to be snarky, that’s for sure. And how I loved their snark! Sharing how the indie kids are really present in every school, and how they are always the chosen Ones. Especially when it comes to sacrificing themselves for the greater good of humanity. And because of this snark, as well as the ever present other in The Rest of Us Just Live Here, I fell completely both for the story, the plot and the characters. And Mikey is the perfect character to share this story with the readers, too. He’s mostly a normal teenager, lusting after one of his friends, trying to do well in school, and hoping his prom will be fun.
Refreshing, fun and quite fast-paced, this story appealed to me in every way, and made me want to try more books by Ness in the future. Written from Mikey’s perspective, in first and third person point of view, with so many witty dialogues and back and forth comments between the friends I have highlighted half the book, I was pretty much mesmerized from start to finish.
“Your stomach isn’t the boss of you,” Mel says, evenly.
“Oh,” Jared says, realizing. “Sorry – “
Mel shakes her head, brushing it off. “Not what I meant. Your heart isn’t the boss of you either. Thinks it is. Isn’t. You can always choose. Always.”
“You can’t choose not to feel,” Henna says.
“But you can choose how to act.”
The wind picks up a little more (Terribly sorry, I imagine it saying; apparently, the wind is British, wondering how it got all the way over here) and Henna has to snap her hand down on a page of an assignment that’s threatening to fly away. “Why do we even have paper any more?”
Which is when one of the indie kids comes running out of the treeline, his old-timey jacket flapping out behind him. He pushes his fashionably black-rimmed glasses back on his nose and runs about twenty feet from where we’re all tumbled together. He doesn’t see us – the indie kids never really see us, not even when we’re sitting next to them in class – just crosses the Field and disappears into the opposite treeline, which we all know only leads to deeper forest.