Monday, October 5, 2015

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

Title: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

HOW GOOD IS THE PREMISE OF THIS BOOK. Honestly, this gets at least two or three stars solely on the basis of premise. I mean, just think about it. This is a book that's not about the "main character" who fights evil, who has a superpower, who starts a revolution, who is in a love triangle. This is a book about everyone else. The "normal" people who just happen to be there and are just living their lives while the "chosen ones" do their thing.

That's not to say that the book is boring. Just because people aren't the "chosen one", doesn't mean they can't be interesting. To be honest, the book is mostly a contemporary coming of age novel with satirical undertones. Ness does this awesome thing where there'll be a short italicised section at the start of each chapter outlining what's happening to the "indie kids" (i.e. the chosen ones) before turning to our true protagonists and moving their stories forward. These sections are actually pretty hilarious, and take a bit of a dig at common YA tropes such as love triangles, frequently used names (like Finn), oblivious adults and the like.

In the main chapters, we deal with quite a lot of issues that I wasn't expecting, including mental illness (specifically OCD, anorexia and anxiety). There's a lot about family and relationships, especially the issues of having parents who aren't really taking on the parental role (due to a variety of reasons). The book also has an extremely diverse cast, in all ways- race, sexuality, health, personality, whatever.

All in all, honestly, if only for the fabulous premise, you should grab a copy of this book. It's astonishingly relateable, wonderfully diverse and hilariously takes a dig at the entire genre of young adult. It's definitely worth a read.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5