Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Synopsis: “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.”
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a book where the protagonist is a side character. You know how in almost every YA book, there is one main character and his/her lover and while we read their adventures, we read nothing about the other people in their town, unless they will somehow support the story. Yeah, this books is here to destroy that.
It tells us about Mike and his friends-slash-family. They are not the “chosen one”s, which means they are not the protagonists of a cheesy YA novel or a movie. They are your everyday, literally, everyday teenagers. In the beginning of every chapter, we read a brief paragraph on what the “indie kids” (Mike’s name for the “chosen one”s) are up to and then follows what Mike is actually up to, so we get to know how their lives are different.
“The indie kids, huh? You’ve got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the charity shop clothes and names from the fifties. Nice enough, never mean, but always the ones who end up being the Chosen One when the vampires come calling or when the alien queen needs the Source of All Light or something. […] They’ve always got some story going on that they’re heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.”
I think my favourite thing about this book was its characters and why it was written. I loved the “not your typical YA book” thing because it literally was not the typical YA book. Patrick Ness wrote from a different aspect, a different point of view which was probably not that foreign to most readers. I think there are many people who want to read about everyone else that is in the ‘can-be-affected-by-the-events’ area of the story as well as the main characters. 😀
Every character was well-written, they had their depths with… rational backgrounds. They had problems like we all do. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about them, you know, they were people you can see in the market or on the sidewalk or at the mall. Normal.
“‘Because they couldn’t possibly care about you.’
‘…It’s hard to feel that. They tell me. They show me. And I still don’t feel it.'”
I loved Mel, Mike’s sister. I loved how she is as an older sister, I loved how protective she was. The relationship between Mike, Mel and Meredith was also very cute, I think it’s kind of the relationship I want to have with my own brother. That’s true family there, guys. Supportive.
However, most of the time, I didn’t understand what Mike’s motive towards Henna was and vice versa. I didn’t understand what they were up to so I involuntarily cringed every time I read something about Henna. Ergh.
As I wrote above, almost every character had their problems and Mike was the most relatable person to me (not going to tell what his problems were). His insecurities are almost the same as mine so it was nice to read about a person like me. Though I didn’t like that his problems were solved, I think it happened a bit too fast. Or it is very problematic of me heh 😀
“The mistake of every adult, though, is to think darkness and hardship aren’t important to young people because we’ll grow out of it. Who cares if we will? Life is happening to us now, just like it’s happening to you.”
I liked The Rest of Us Just Live Here, it was not boring or anything but it wasn’t anything special or extraordinary in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I actually like cheesy YA novels and the main characters and the actions and the romance and every single thing about them.
Many people like Patrick Ness, this was my first book of him, and it wasn’t like I hated it or anything. I loved his perspective and the way he wrote, but I think this wasn’t able to… quench my thirst, metaphorically speaking. 😀
In my opinion, this book is worth reading. I talked about the things I liked and didn’t like, but that was solely my opinion and probably caused by expecting too much. Still, it was a good book (just lacking some action, normally). Read it! 😀