The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness


Genre: Young Adult
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening Line:

Chapter 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.”

Goodreads 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.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

I actually didn’t read the synopsis before reading this book. I wanted to know nothing about it before I read it, because I think sometimes that’s half the fun of reading. You enter a new world, a different society, a different set of lives, and it’s better if you have no preconceptions whatsoever when you begin. Having said that, I do mostly read the synopsis or the blurb of a book before reading it, but I’m really glad I began this with no idea what it was about.

I read this book in a day. It’s been a while since that happened, but books that I read in a day hold an extra quality to them, because I really feel that I’ve entered another world for a day. The world in this book is different from ours…well, the society is anyway. There are some kids who are called Indie Kids, and at first I thought this was just a Mean Girls type thing, and that it was referring to the different cliques in school. But it soon became apparent that Indie Kids are kids who are different, and this difference doesn’t act in their favour.

I’ve included two opening lines because there are two stories in this book, but they are both inextricably linked. I found it amazing that Patrick Ness can weave a narrative alongisde another narrative, and make them both run smoothly alongside one another without complicating things or making the story confusing. Okay, it did take me a couple of chapters to work out what the narrative structure was going to be, but once I did, I loved it.

This novel has a good set of characters. One is gay, one is straight, possibly bi-curious with OCD and anxiety, one has history of an eating disorder. I found the parts of the book that really explored these aspects of the characters were my favourite parts. I wasn’t so interested in the Immortals and Vampire and Undead and Gods parts, even though they are key to the narrative.

This book is witty, clever, funny, endearing, and a tiny bit heartbreaking (for me anyway) but also hopeful. There’s a lot of hope, and a lot of ways in which this story could help people who are maybe lacking a bit of hope in their lives. The hope is in the ordinary, seemingly meaningless things. The extraordinary doesn’t always have to take centre stage, sometimes it’s better off in the background.

Favourite Quotes:

“The thing about scars, though,” she says. “Nothing you can do except wear them with pride.”

“I know most people would think it weird that two guy friends touch as much as we do, but when you choose your family, you get to choose how it is between you, too.”

“What’s the point of lying about anything? We could keep being too afraid to say we don’t know stuff and then the future will come and eat us anyway and we’ll regret not doing all that stuff we wished we did.”

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

Link to the book on Goodreads:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here


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