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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick…

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness

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This is a really sweet book, and pretty much what I needed at the moment. It’s not life changing or anything, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s not pure fluff either, as the characters deal with some serious personal problems, including mental illnesses like OCD and anorexia. But it’s all handled in a lighter way - this book won’t make you burst into tears, or anything.

The premise is that you have special teenagers - superheroes, chosen ones - nicknamed “indie kids” by the rest of the student body, who fight the evil zombies, or ghosts, or fall in love with the vampires, or whatever YA trope is going on every couple years or so. But then you also have all the normal kids, kids just going about their lives trying to survive on the sidelines while this weirdness happens, and this book is told from their point of view. Each chapter begins with a brief summary of the indie kid plot - what would be the main plot of a standard YA fantasy book - but then goes on to tell the story of the much more ordinary - but no less interesting - lives of the normal protagonists. It’s a great concept. And it’s pretty funny when it’s lovingly parodying the cliches of a lot of modern teen media.

So, the book follows Mike and the people he loves - his older sister Mel, who is recovering from anorexia, and their best friends Henna and Jared. Henna is beautiful and Mike’s had a crush on her forever, but her parents are missionaries who are determined to take her to Africa after she graduates. Mike’s running out of time to confess his feelings. Jared is gay and Mike admits that the two of them have experimented in the past, but Mike does not identify as queer. Jared is three quarters Jewish, one quarter god, as his grandmother is a cat goddess. All cats love and worship Jared - which is awesome! ♥ but he’s been secretive around Mike lately, disappearing on Saturdays and not telling Mike what’s going on.

On top of all this, Mike suffers from OCD. He can get trapped in loops counting or washing, even to the point where he hurts himself. He also feels like his friends don’t really like him and that he is “the least important.” Not to mention his dad is a drunk and his mom is a politician. Talk about stress! And that’s not even getting into the In the strange blue lights, zombie deer, and possessed police officers! But Mike and his friends aren’t the heroes here - they just want to make it to graduation.

As I said, I think this is a sweet book. It’s a nice easy read that I had fun with, and has left me curious to try more by this author. ( )
  catfantastic | Aug 6, 2017 |
This book is an answer to the question: what would the story have been if we had followed the fictional life of Random Extra #2 on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of season 3? It's a question I find myself asking more than once with shows like Buffy or Smallville, and in some ways it was lovely to see Ness tackle it. And yet...it's not a story that gripped me hard, as with his previous books. It sort of makes you realize WHY Joss Whedon etc. never writes an episode for Random Extra #2 — we'd like it fine because it's in the hands of a good writer, but it's still rather...uneventful and staid. Overall, a light-hearted, at times surprisingly touching effort, but not necessarily a memorable one. ( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
Smart, funny, satisfying, and heartfelt, this is a winning YA novel that manages to give its diverse teen characters plenty of room to be relatable and real without over-dramatizing them or feeling didactic. These kids grapple with a lot of issues, but this isn't an Issues book. Importantly, it's very much about kids who have already been living through tough concerns (the end of the world barely registers, after overbearing parents, mental illness, eating disorders, queerness, and of course, love). These are kids who love each other even though they're still figuring out what that means, who accept and support each other and *choose* each other every day. The contrast between their everyday problems against the backdrop of what's going on with the Chosen Ones (hilariously summarized events introduce each chapter) is pitch perfect. This is a good one if you loved Buffy and Harry Potter but are sick of investing in their many knockoffs. It's also great for any teenager who is done with being looked down on. I read this in a couple of days because I feel in love with the characters that much. ( )
  Gretchening | Jul 20, 2017 |
This is delightful. It's the story that happens to the kids that AREN'T saving the world from the latest apocalypse. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
Mike has anxiety issues. His mom is into politics. Dad is an alcoholic. Older sister survived briefly dying as a result of anorexia. They are trying to keep things normal for young sis. But then there are strange events in and around town with immortals, gods, and blue lights. All they want to do is get to graduation. Centers around trying to grow up normal in strange times. Wasn't my favorite book but kept me interested. ( )
  alsparks | Jul 10, 2017 |
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I thought I could organise freedom.
How Scandinavian of me.
- Bjork
For my own excellent sister,
Melissa Anne Brown, who's both kind and funny,
the best possible combination.
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On the day we're the last people to see indi kid Finn alive, we're all sprawled together in the Field, talking about love and stomachs.
The indie kids, huh? You've got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the charity shop clothes and names from the fifties. Nice enough, never mean, but always the ones who end up being the Chosen One when the vampires come calling or when the alien queen needs the Source of All Light or something. They're too cool to ever, ever do anything like go to prom or listen to music other than jazz while reading poetry. They've always got some story going on that they're heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062403168, Hardcover)

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness's bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were 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 might just be the God of mountain lions...An exceptional novel from the author praised by John Green as "an insanely beautiful writer".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:47 -0400)

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Average: (3.93)
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