Guest Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness

I would like all of you ABCers to give a nice warm welcome to my friend Laura.  Laura is a fan of Patrick Ness so I offered to let her read and review his newest book which she was awesome and did like 2 months ago. GO LAURA! Anyway, you can find Laura on Goodreads if you would like to friend her. She is pretty awesome!

Guest Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published by HarperTeen
Published: October 6th 2015
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four-stars

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How do you know when you’re reading a Patrick Ness story?  For me, it’s the way he will—without fail—turn literary formulas, ideas, and worlds upside down, inside out, and all kinds of topsy turvey!  Turn my head and heart all topsy turvey!  This book does that and more.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is filled with vampires, gods, chosen ones,  ZOMBIE DEERS!!!, and heroes.  Just not the heroes we’re used to seeing in an end of the world tale.  This story has all the “Oh-God don’t blow up the high school again” mystery-magic, but the focus is on the supposed ordinary kids. The normal teenagers in the background just trying to survive until prom, graduation and college.

“And we dream the same in my town as you probably do in a city.  We yearn the same, wish the same.  We’re just as screwed up and brave and false and loyal and wrong and right as anyone else.”

Meet Michael Mitchell, aka our humble narrator.  He leads us through a tale of unknowns, fear, friends, fun and change.  Mike with his sisters Meredith and Mel, his best friend Jared, and his forever crush Henna try to solve the mysteries of their stories and hearts rather than the weird blue lights killing the indie kids in town.  We follow along through secrets,  “Is it love?” questions, boy band frenzy and anxiety.  The way Ness describes Mike’s anxiety is so relatable.  You will feel it on your own skin.  Feel the pull and power in the words and actions.  Those moments when Mike gets stuck in a loop or can’t make anything feel right made my heart ache.  I cannot emphasize enough how well this issue was described and dealt with here.  And as a narrator, Mike kept me entertained, smiling and involved from beginning to end.  But I’m not sure I liked him through and through or any of the characters for that matter.

Which brings me to one of my true loves and favorite Ness skills.  The man can capture REAL on the page like no other.  I’m not sure I liked these kids or their parents because hell—they all could be selfish and annoying!  These characters are filled with faults and honesty.  Every single one of them was funny, self-centered, intelligent, cute, and oblivious.  Very real!  Their friendships and bonds are what made them stand out in my heart and head though.  My favorite relationship was between the siblings—Mike and Mel and Meredith.  I could feel their love and protectiveness and support immediately.  I just knew from the get-go that they would do anything for each other.

In the end, I guess you could say my love for this book falls not in the story itself, but HOW the story was told.  The idea is brilliant!  So many laughs and jabs and messages in the main story and the background tale shown in short chapter headings and Finns (so many Finns).  🙂 The weirdness in town loomed in the background as something Mike and his friends couldn’t change or learn more about.  They just had to live there with it all going on around them.  They had their own stories to focus on and survive.   But shouldn’t they have found out what was going on in town?  Gotten involved?  Cared more about the kids getting killed?  That is the question that keeps eating at me.  And that is why I read Ness.  That point makes me examine my story, my life and what I focus on.

”Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world.  Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly.  All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

Life is (should be) about who you are inside—not age or how cool your name is or what group of kids you’re hanging out with.  We all have our own stories to tell.  We can all be the heroes of our own stories and days.  Go live ‘em and tell ‘em! Just beware of the zombie deers and blue lights in the sky.  😀

There is always magic to be found in a Ness book.  OH!  OH! I almost forgot!  The book’s cover actually GLOWS!  That’s the rumor anyway.  I’m such a sucker for glow-in-the-dark fun.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here may not have shot to the top of my favorites list, but I will and do recommend it.  I closed this book days ago and I’m still wrestling with it in my head and heart.  Patrick Ness never shares a tale and leaves.  His books and words linger.  Questions linger.

Read it.

**Quotes taken from ARC**

Thanks Laura!

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