Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

"And even if there's no one in my family or my circle of friends who's going to be the Chosen One or the Beacon of Peace or whatever the hell it's going to be next time around, I reckon there are a lot more people like me than there are indie kids with unusual names and capital-D Destinies..."

I love, love, love Patrick Ness. The Knife of Letting Go was amazing to the extremest levels. I have been wanting to read more of him for so long. I read The Ask and the Answer, but I never finished Monsters of Men because of dumb reasons (Anxiety over too many books too read, reading going slowly, and wanting to reread the entire series). I have also planned and failed to read A Monster Calls and More Than This, which is just shameful because both are award winners. On the upside, my failures have led me to make sure that I actually read his newest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here. I'm glad that I did because it's a great, unique story.

It's four months until they graduate from high school. Mikey has to deal with his unrequited invisible love for Henna, as well as a relapse of OCD and anxiety. His sister Mel, who is a year older than the others, is finally graduating after losing a year to her struggle with anorexia. Jared, Mike's best friend, is gay and part god (God of cats, actually, which makes me jealous of him). He has been sneaking around and Mike knows he is keeping secrets. Henna is dealing with conflicts over her feelings for Mike and for new boy Nathan, issues that are made worse by her upcoming mission trip to war-torn Africa. Nathan is somewhat mysterious, having moved to town so close to graduation. Mike dislikes Nathan because of the Henna issue and because he seems suspicious, but mostly because of Henna.

At the beginning of every chapter, there is a short recap of what is going on with the indie kids. They have names like Satchel, Kerouac, and Finn (There are a lot of Finns, actually), they use card catalogs instead of computers, and they read poetry and listen to jazz. The indie kids are the ones who have to face zombies, vampires, or whatever is happening now, with the blue lights. They often end up dying and/or blowing up the school. They deal with big, apocalyptic things that have the potential to effect all of the characters, but Mike and his friends don't really focus on them much because they can't do anything about them.

As Mike said,
"The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part."

It's like the book is written by the background characters in a YA science fiction/fantasy novel. Their struggles are more relatable and their names are less obnoxious. I loved hearing a different side of the typical story. I laughed and I cried and I cried some more. I wrote down pages of quotes and now have a wrist cramp. When I get some money together, I am going to purchase my own physical copy of the book so I can read it again and again (Bonus: the cover glows in the dark!).  
I received my copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here from Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperTeen. It's available for purchase now.

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