Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

5 January, 2016 Reviews 5 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Series: Standalone
Published by HarperTeen on October 6th 2015
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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 worshiped by mountain lions.

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

Trigger Warning: Eating disorders, alcoholism, thoughts of suicide.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here takes your favorite Fantasy/Dystopian/Paranormal and gives it a refreshing spin. What happens to those who aren’t the “Chosen One”? You know, the ones that have to put up with the mess caused by the villains and the heroes? This book is about the remarkable lives of ordinary teens in an extraordinary world.

I love Patrick Ness. I won’t deny it because my love for him might be pretty obvious in the next few paragraphs. The thing is, Mr. Ness is a brilliant writer. No two books of his are alike, which BLOWS. MY. MIND. But they do have one thing in common: They are complex, diverse, and incredibly moving. The Rest of Us Just Live Here follows this formula to a T. Every aspect of the novel complements each other beautifully. You get a touching coming-of-age story, rich characters, a fantastic setting, and hilarious paranormal elements. How can you not fall in love with this book?

The way the chapters begin is seriously brilliant. You get little snippets of what’s happening with the Chosen One. These introductions are satirical, witty, and one of my favorite parts of the novel. I love that there’s a spotlight directed at some of the most common tropes in the stories we all know and love. I laughed out loud so many times that I began to look forward to what Patrick Ness had to say about the predictability factor in a lot of stories. But what makes this novel so good is that all this silliness is paired with really strong themes. There’s an alcoholic father, an anorexic sister, a less-than-perfect mother, and a main character suffering from mental illness. The balance between these two completely different voices is perfectly executed. Trust me, it is pure gold.

Patrick Ness excels at writing diverse characters. He doesn’t point a highlighter-yellow arrow at them so that you’re always aware that they are diverse. He does it in a perfectly subtle, normal way that other writers should try to emulate. I loved that the main character, Mike, explores his sexuality without overanalyzing it. It doesn’t become this central part in the book or an overwhelming/shameful aspect of the character’s life. It just happens and he doesn’t dwell on it. Isn’t that fantastic? Raise your hand if you want to see this more often.

Honestly, while I adore Patrick Ness, his novels always make me nervous because they are these elaborate productions that can be a little intimidating. While this novel has just as much depth as his other ones, it is also light and funny (*cough* and not as difficult to follow as More Than This *cough*). So you know you have a winner when an author can combine the struggles and beauty of life with a lighthearted and often silly story of the stereotypical Chosen One.  I dare you not to love every page. I double dare you.

Paola Carolina

Paola Carolina

Reviewer at Cuddlebuggery
Anglophile, bookworm, and occasional fangirl. Find me on Goodreads.

5 Responses to “Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness”

  1. Andrea

    Honestly I love Patrick Ness and this book has been on TBR list forever!! I honestly can’t wait to read this one, it sounds amazing!!

  2. Sara Strauss

    I’ve never read a Patrick Ness novel, but I have the ebook of this book and I can’t wait to read it!! Your review has me excited!

  3. Carina Olsen

    Yay 😀 Awesome review Paola. <3 So glad that you mostly loved this book a lot. You make it seem so interesting. I'm curious about it now. One day I shall have to read it, I think 😀 Yay for loving this author. I have read a few of his "older" books, which I enjoyed so much 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this one. <3
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