The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (2015)
Teen Fiction | Contemporary | Paranormal
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
Patrick Ness’ latest book The Rest of Us Just Live Here was simple in a great way. He sort of answered that question that many of us (or at least I) have wondered occasionally but perhaps not too passionately as we watch our favorite television shows, movies, or read our favorite books.
We devour stories about “chosen ones” and vampires and werewolves and aliens and zombies and wizards and witches and warriors and rebellions and a million other breath-taking tales. Our eyes absorb all that is the protagonist and their group as we follow their journey from page one to the vague non-committal ending of the epilogue. And while we crave those moments where we can break out of our mundane lives to step into the world of heroes, every once in a blue moon I look at those vague background characters with no names but who still have to live, fight, or die with the havoc being wreaked on their homes without ever knowing what is fully going on and without ever receiving an invitation to. Most people are those nameless slightly blurred out faces of the background. Yes in the film industry we’re called “extras” or “background actors” because we fill in the space around the heroes and villains living extraordinary lives in the camera lens’s focus.
I’m really glad Ness finally decided to one day peruse this question of “What about everyone else?” and write a fun, incredibly normal story that attempts to answer just that.
Ness succeeds in writing a book that is a bit thrilling but in the most normal of ways, romantic but not heart-bursting, sad but not unheard of, exciting but because it’s completely relatable, and beautifully, humanly normal.
And you know what? What would those other stories be without us “extras”? Who would the villains be trying to destroy, enslave, or rule? Who would the heroes be risking their lives to save? They’d all be out of a purpose. And d’you know what else? Just because we don’t all have epic world-altering destinies or magical powers doesn’t mean we can’t be heroes…or villains I suppose.
P.S. The blurbs at the beginning of each chapter that keeps us readers snaps of info on what’s going on the the indie kids are hilariously accurate just like a well written vague horoscope. And the way he writes everyone’s simultaneous awareness and ignorance of the chaos ensuing in town is perfect and rather how I’d imagined it being.
Purchase here: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Meet Patrick Ness!
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.
He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.