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.

Book Review

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.

Skulls 2.5


 

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About Zoe

Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.

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13 thoughts on “Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

  1. I have heard before that compared to his other books TROUJLH is a bit underwhelming. So I’ve decided since I’ve haven’t read any of his books yet, I’ll start with TROUJLH and then read his Chaos Walking series and Monsters Call, that way it’ll only get better with each book!!

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  2. I’m sorry that this one didn’t quite match up to Ness’ previous offerings for you. I’ve only read A Monster Calls so far but The Knife of Never Letting Go is on my reading list of course. This one is too but from your review, I’ll start with TKoNLG first :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

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  3. Sorry this one didn’t work for you – I can totally understand why, even though I rated it higher. It was more of a meandering exploration than having any sort of plot – or, to be more precise, the plot was sort of condensed into the short paragraphs about the hipster kids. I did very much enjoy the friendships and relationships though, which was what redeemed it for me, as well as the exploration of therapy and mental illness.

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  4. The Knife of Letting Go series remains unread in my shelves. I started it but the writing wasn’t for me. I heard some fantastic things about this book though, but still not enough to convince me. Patrick Ness is brilliant, I’m sure. But I’m a simple girl with simple tastes and his writing may just be a tad out of my league.

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  5. I’m sorry you thought this, because I LOVED the knife of never letting go. I’ve heard great things about this book, but it sounds like a let down. The premise is sooo good though I might just try reading it anyway :)

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  6. This is hard. Because yes, compared to Chaos Walking, this cannot compete. BUT I think it was stronger than More Than This. (::Whispers:: I don’t know if I fully “got” More Than This.) I liked that it was SO different, even though it was really quite strange. I loved the honesty in the book, but I get that it absolutely won’t be for everyone. The characters and quirkiness were enough for me, but to be honest, I think I am kind of weird- like, I can live with that, while I know most people DO need more action. Great review, and I am sorry you didn’t like it more!

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