The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

rest of us

The Rest of us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness

Genre: Science Fiction/Contemporary

Expected Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

This ebook was provided by Edelweiss.

Have you ever wondered what the teens from District 3 were doing while Katniss and Peeta were saving the world? Well, wonder no more.

Overview:

Mikey, Mel, Henna, and Jacob are not the chosen ones. They aren’t destined to save their world. They just want to go to prom and graduate before the school blows up.

Dang, That Was Good.

So this book has everything, weird names; unrequited love; OCDness; a gay semi-god; deer with glowing eyes; and indie kids.

  • Unlike Grasshopper Jungle, this is not your typical sci-fi/contemporary genre blending novel.  Ness’ book isn’t about Ronnie and Austin it’s about the other teens who are just trying not to get eaten by the giant preying mantises.  And this right here is where the evil genius that is Ness’ stands out. I read A LOT of fantasy and sci-fi and it’s always about the hero, the chosen one.  I never thought about the other teens who are hoping their best friend returns their feelings or the teens who feel insignificant among their friends or the teens who are just trying to graduate while surviving their parents.
  • At the beginning of each chapter, we get a paragraph of what’s happening with the indie kids (the chosen ones).  It’s all about Satchel and Finn, yes those are their names, and how they are trying to prevent the Immortals from inhabiting earth.  There are magical amulets, love triangles, dead indie kids, oblivious adults, manipulation, and all the other tropes in YA sci-fi. Our main characters see all of this and they go to school with the indie kids but their lives are totally separate.  This story isn’t about the indie kids it’s only about the regular teens.
  • This book is under 350 pages and there are about nine characters but they are all different and well developed. Our main character, Mikey, suffers from OCD and his condition worsens as issues such as his parents, his siblings, his love interest, and his friendships arise. I recently read a different book that was all about OCD but I felt that Ness’ writing captured the essence of the disorder even though it was one of many themes in this book.  Jacob is gay but the book doesn’t make a big deal out of it. It makes a big deal out of Jacob’s big heart and that he’s a wonderful friend. 
  • The protagonist is a boy and he does things that not many other male protags do: ask his mother for help and displays vulnerability in front of all his friends.  
  • It’s a good story for teens who feel like the least liked among their group of friends, which I think all of us have experienced even as adults. It’s not one of those stories where the teen suddenly has a life epiphany; it’s a story about a boy who has issues and asks an adult for help-which is realistic. I like to think Ness did this on purpose seeing as many sci-fi books feature sixteen year olds who know everything and figure it all out by themselves. 

That’s Too Bad, Dang

  • This book began to get a little preachy at times
  • I had a problem with the Mikey/Henna relationship. Once again, I think Ness was going for the antithesis of most YA sci-fi/contemporary but I didn’t like it.

Overall

The Rest of us Just Live Here is witty and insightful story about friendship and issues associated with being a teen. For once, it’s not about Katniss or Harry or Ender; it’s about those other teens who are just trying to deal.  

The Rest of us Just Live Here could be a 2016 Printz honor contender.

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2 thoughts on “The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

  1. Patrick Ness can go either way with me, but this one sounds promising. His work appeals to me for the most part, it’s just that he tends to add things in that make it seem to young for the genre, or too old for another. Thank you for reviewing it.

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