The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness

The-Rest-of-Us-just-Live-Here-Patrick-NessChapter the first, in which the Messenger of the Immortals arrives in a surprising shape, looking for a permanent Vessel; and after being chased by her through the woods, indie kid Finn meets his final fate. 

On the day we’re the last people to see indie kid Finn alive, we’re all sprawled together in the Field, talking about love and stomachs.”

Not everyone has to be the chosen one. Some people are just bystanders in the fight against the zombies, soul-eating ghosts or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death. Mikey and his friends just want to graduate and get on with the rest of their lives, before anyone goes and blows up the school, again. 

But Mikey’s problems are bigger than this week’s end of the world, and he just wants to find the extraordinary in his ordinary life.

**

Patrick Ness has done it again. Spun a story that sucked me in and made me love his writing even more. His characters in The Rest of U Just Live Here are perfect in the most ordinary way and the story he tells is the most true to life story I’ve ever read in a YA book.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is actually genius. There is a war of the ‘Immortals’ going on, something similar to stories in other YA fantasy books, but that isn’t the real story. That is given to the reader in snippets at the start of chapters and through observations by Mikey and his friends. It was like Ness was reminding us that there are other people in the fantasy worlds created by authors, including those he creates himself. The kids that the fantasy world story happens to are referred to as ‘indie kids’ and the chapter briefs amused me because they usually had unusual names or there were multiple indie kids with the same name – which does happen in YA books. The observations by Mikey and his friends were also amusing too, like the fact that the indie kids never use mobiles or the internet.

The real world story that was going on was brilliant too, it was ordinary with problems that real teenagers have and relationships that real people develop. Mikey has OCD tendencies and an unrequited love for one of his best friends. Henna has parents who are blind to what she really needs, Mel is still recovering from an eating disorder, and Jared is learning who he really is – as a god who should be in line with the indie kids but prefers his life as it is.

This book was very different to what I expected from Patrick Ness and I think its one of his easier books to read. I found More Than This and his Chaos Walking series a bit difficult to wrap my head around at first and A Monster Calls definitely isn’t a book for everyone but this is definitely more accessible and I got into it very quickly. I would recommend it as a starting point for anyone wanting to read Ness’ books, but a YA fantasy reading background would be needed to understand the subtle digs about those.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here was published on 27th August 2015 by Walker Books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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