The Rest of Us Just Live Here
by Patrick Ness
published October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen
young adult | fantasy
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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.
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, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly.
Compared to some of Patrick Ness’ other books – A Monster Calls or The Knife of Never Letting Go for example – The Rest of Us Just Live Here almost seems like a bit of a let down. Ness’ idea to write a book about normal, everyday teens was enticing and something every teen is sure to relate to, but compared to his former books, The Rest of Us Just Live Here simply felt a little dull and unexciting.
There wasn’t much plot or substance in the story itself. The entire story simply just follows a typical teenage boy and his friends, with some random and out-of-place paranormal elements thrown in sporadically. The plot didn’t have any conflict or climax.
The narrator Mikey is your average teenage boy. He’s worried about getting into college and working up the courage to ask the girl he likes to prom; not about fighting a tyrannical dystopian government or saving humanity. And this is part of what makes him such a great protagonist: he is relatable to the core, and it is so easy to sympathize with him.
Yet, in the end, despite its interesting concept and its strong focus on average, everyday people, The Rest of Us Just Live Here simply didn’t have much of a plot or a conflict, and, as a result, it simply lacked the excitement it needed for me to fully invest in it.
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.
Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.