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

Name: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Date published: 2016
Rating: 4/5
Spoiler warning: Major

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.
- From Goodreads.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here consists of a unique, clever and witty idea for a book that felt really refreshing and interesting. It took tired-out clichés and twisted the angle and made them new and exciting again. It was playful and thoughtful at the same time.
I think I expected it to be more humourous and satirical than it was. The humour and satire was there, but I suppose I expected to be more at the forefront, given the premise of the novel was a satire of the whole "chosen one" idea and genre, and I did not expect there to be such a serious tone and a focus on serious subjects, but I think that was a good kind of surprise, as it dealt well with the serious subjects, especially mental illness.
In terms of characters, I do not think I liked Henna as much as I should have done. I do not know what it was, but I felt like maybe she was supposed to be quite likeable, but while I certainly did not hate or even dislike her, I did not really like her too much either. Maybe it was because I felt she messed around with Mikey's feelings quite a bit and was not very considerate of them. I know she was trying to figure out her own feelings, and nobody is perfect, but she could have handled it better and thought more of how her actions might affect him and his feelings as well as her own. Mikey obviously was not perfect himself, and his jealousy was a good reason for her to be annoyed at him, and jealousy is one of the most annoying character traits (do not get me started on how much I hate love triangles), but I felt like I could understand more about why he was unhappy with her than why she was with him, and I do not think that is just because it was from Mikey's perspective. I am glad they did not end up together at the end because it would have not felt quite right between them.
Overall, I think it was a really great book that I very much enjoyed reading (I would not have read it as quickly as I did, in only a couple of days, if I did not), but I think I went in with my expectations a little too high and it did not quite reach them.

Add the book on Goodreads | Author's website


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