The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Genre: Magical Realism
Release Date: 27th August 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-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 worshiped 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 have this problem with Patrick Ness’s novels in that I love them so much it renders me pretty much unable to do anything but cry and harass people to read them. So, um, can you all go out and buy his books and then read them and then get back to me with how he has destroyed your life, thanks. Much appreciated, it’ll be so nice to have company down in the pit.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here takes place in a small American town that experiences an ~unusual amount of extraordinary events. Mikey, the main character, and his friends are very much ordinary teenagers; they live their lives on the borders of these occurrences. Honestly, this book is kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the show had been told from the POV of the random townspeople who were always kind of aware that Sunnydale had an unusually high death rate but man, there are too many exams and people to fall in love with and groceries to be bought to pay much attention to the girl running around with a piece of wood in the local graveyard. You know what I mean? Patrick Ness brings this brilliant kind of tongue in cheek humour, gently poking fun at the generic YA supernatural story set-up – there is a story within a story in this book. Each chapter opens with a summary, no longer than a paragraph, of the kids dealing with the unusual/terrifying/really bloody weird events in this small town, before going back to Mikey and his friends for the rest of the chapter. It’s brilliant; I laughed out loud at so many points and then would be reduced to tears in the next few lines because Patrick Ness is Out to Get Me.

Mikey broke my heart into tiny little pieces over the course of the novel. He suffers from severe anxiety and OCD and never thinks that he’s needed as much as anyone else and is kind of in love with two of his best friends. I just loved him so much; this wonderful teenage boy with this huge heart and a deep well of sadness. I loved his sister, Mel. I loved her strength, her ability to build herself back up again. I loved their little sister for being so wise and so innocent, I loved Jared for loving Mikey and being amazing with cats because of ~reasons. I even ended up liking Satchel, the hero of the ~traditional story because she was just so endearing, even amongst the weirdness of her life.

I mean, I say this a lot but I really do feel like Patrick Ness exceeds himself with every novel he writes, writing about difficult subjects with sensitivity and passion. I think this might be my favourite novel of his so far? Possibly. It weaves so many different themes, such as being able to make your own choices, of being extraordinary just for living, that platonic love is as equally deep and true as romantic love, that being a hero isn’t just about a strange setting and being Chosen – it means so much more.

Also, to finish this love letter to Patrick Ness review, some of my favourite lines:

None of us says anything for a minute, then Jared asks, “Was that Finn?”

“Which Finn?” my sister says. “Aren’t all the indie kids called Finn?”


I laughed SO HARD.

Maybe Nathan will get run over by a bus that I’m not anywhere near.

Best author, best book, go and read it now basically.

5 comments on “The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

  1. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books 31/07/2015 2:37 pm

    I have never, ever read a Patrick Ness book! I really need to because everyone raves about him. This one sounds awesome.

  2. Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic 03/08/2015 12:50 pm

    I’ve only ever read 2 books of his – the first 2 Chaos Walking books, I REALLY need to read the last one and gosh, I cried so much! MANCHEE. I will never ever ever get over Manchee. I really want to read this book, even more so now that I know the main character has severe anxiety as do I. Brilliant review!

  3. Fahima / Hitch Theory 06/08/2015 3:47 pm

    THIS WAS MY FIRST NESS BOOK AMBER, AND I LOVED IT!!!!! I see why you all love him so much. There was just so much that I could relate to, and it was all so realistic!

    And the indie kids! HAHAHAHA they’re story had me laughing out loud so many times (I creeped myself out when I did it once in the middle of the night lol)!

  4. Dreams 08/08/2015 7:55 pm

    This was my one failure at BEA. The lines was starting to trigger my claustrophobia so I had to runaway. (Granted I was too far back I don’t think I’d have gotten a copy anyways.) I cannot wait to snag a copy for myself. I’m afraid of the ugly tears I will cry when I read it though.

    Great review!

  5. Lisa @ Bookish Broads 09/08/2015 1:32 am

    I have this problem with Patrick Ness’s novels in that I love them so much it renders me pretty much unable to do anything but cry and harass people to read them – THIS IS ME OMG YES FOREVER ALWAYS AMEN

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