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 normally one for reading young adult books, I loved the cover of The Rest of Us Just Live Here when I saw it on the library shelf. Then I read the blurb – and couldn’t resist because my guilty pleasure is watching shows where good looking teens fight supernatural bad guys, usually while punning and falling in love. I just can’t help myself.
So, because I have been trying to step outside my comfort zone with reading, I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it. It was a fun read – cleverly written and very tongue in cheek – but also very smart. The story kept me interested, despite not being the target audience, with each chapter opening with a few lines about what was happening to the indie kids (those chosen to fight the latest big bad) whilst everyone else went about their everyday lives.
Everyday for Mikey and his friends include the usual teenage crushes and questions of being in love. It also included anorexia, alcoholism, mental illness and sexuality. All heavy hitting issues yet each was dealt with sensitively and without sensationalism thanks to the characterisations – each person felt real and solid and I found I cared for them – and humour.
It’s hard to think back to my teenage years but there are some really well presented messages here about how it’s o.k. to be yourself whoever you are and, whilst this might or might not be “normal”, there really is no normal. In fact, we are all different, all special..and all dealing with things that are hard at times and feel overwhelming. There don’t have to be blue lights coming from the sky and portals to other dimensions opening for important things to be happening in our lives. For all of this, though, we do get through things and life goes on – often in (good) ways we don’t expect.
Thankfully, none of these messages are laid on too thick or too heavy handed. They are woven in as the characters and story develops. This is a hard thing to do and Patrick Ness does it well. So, while I can’t say I’m now a convert to young adult books, I did enjoy this one and will be recommending it. Liked it a lot!
I love the premise of this one! Not everyone is constantly fighting off zombies or the supernatural or whatnot. I love that there were some really intense issues represented they weren’t angsty or over done. I’m not much of a YA reader but I do want to go outside my comfort zone this year and this sounds like a fun way to do that.
I think I was afraid of the angst…deep thoughts spoken with an adult voice but it didn’t feel like that…still won’t ween me off The Vampire Diaries of Buffy though!
So good to hear that this worked for you Emma – I’m terrible at tackling books outside my comfort zone – I need to take a leaf out of your book 😉
Am very glad it worked to. I have a fear of not reading what I know but it was a bit of an early new year resolution I hope to stick to.
[…] The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, which I actually read in December but didn’t get round to reviewing till January. I stepped out of my comfort zone here for this piece of young adult fiction, which was more complex than I expected and funnier. […]
[…] romance (with Colleen Hoover’s November 9) and young adult (with Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here). I enjoyed both and I’d definitely pick up books by both authors again. BUT I don’t […]