Review 247. Patrick Ness – The rest of us just live here.

The rest of us just live hereTitle: The rest of us just live here.
Author: Patrick Ness.
Pages: 336.
Published: October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: eARC from the publisher on Edelweiss.
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.
Rating:

What a refreshing story! This book is extraordinary despite it’s ordinary nature. This book isn’t about the people with special, hidden talents. This is a story about you and me; the ones on the background while the Hero saves the day.

This book features a cast of several people, but Mickey is the protagonist. He suffers from a severe form of OCD, where he has to count and touch things until it feels good. He has a sister Mel who recently battled anorexia, a best (gay) friend Jared and there is Henna, the (African) girl he secretly fancies. As you can see, they are a diverse bunch of ordinary people who have to conquer their own problems in life. That means it is up to the Indie kids to save the day when Aliens try to find new Vessels. These Indie kids get their own part in the story, because every chapter starts with a short summary of what happened with them. I love how this was interwoven with Mickey’s story.

The city is unaware of the supernatural situations. The adults are aware of strange occurrences, but they seem to be blind for what is truly going on. Last time there was an attack by vampires, this time the Chosen ones have to defeat Aliens. That is not Mickey’s problem, though. He is busy with graduation and the future. Will he still be best friends with Jared? Will he finally be brave enough to talk to Henna about his feelings for her? Is he able to keep is two sisters save?

It was not hard to connect to Mickey and his 'ordinary' life and issues. It was great to finally read a book about someone normal. He is not gifted or special in any way. He makes mistakes and he worries about the same ordinary things as any other teenager. I also love how Patrick Ness included a gay character without making a lot of fuss about it. It doesn’t define Jared as a character, it’s just part of who he is. Also the fact that Mickey hooked up at one point with Jared, because of curiosity was something I appreciated.

I already found out that Patrick Ness has a wonderful writing-style when I read More than this, but this book was so much better to me. It has a solid ending and it’s a more straight-forward story. The last thing I want to share is this quote that Patrick wrote in his introduction, because it’s so true:

Do we get to be the heroes and heroines of our own lives? Maybe with small Hs? Aren't the things we do kind of extraordinary, too? Isn't loving our friends and making your own decisions kind of amazing? I think so.

22 comments

  1. I loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites of 2015!

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  2. I've never read anything by Patrick Ness and this one really caught my attention now. It sounds really interesting especially the fact that it focuses on someone that doesn't have anything special in him. I also love the quote you posted. Great review! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. If you plan to pick up anything by him, I definitely recommend this one.

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  3. Fantastic review Mel! I've only read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness but it was a solid 5-star read for me and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of his work - including this one of course :) Naturally I was drawn to this one for the 'ordinary hero' but I absolutely love the way you described all of the characters here, the diversity that's woven in without making a fuss. I'll definitely be checking this one out sooner rather than later^^ :)

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  4. This sounds really good, am currently reading More Than This and it's really different to what I've read before. I've only read A Monster Calls by Ness, which I found really touching and I'm beginning to think More Than This is heading in somewhat of a same direction.

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  5. I haven't read Patrick Ness yet, but I have this one. I am super excited to read it!

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  6. It sounds great! Sometimes books with regular characters are great in between books that I have 0 chance of being like the characters!

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  7. Gosh, I love Patrick Ness so much. He's quickly making his way up my list of favourite writers. This was in particular was interesting. Like, we're so used to reading it from the hero's perspective, and this was such a fresh take on it all. I adored all the diversity he worked into the plot, too <3

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  8. Ahhh. How mean. You are making me curious about this book Mel :D Stunning review, as always, sweet girl. <3 But ah. You make this book sound amazing :) But I'm still not sure I want to read it, lol. But I'm considering it :) Thank you for sharing about it. <3

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  9. You make it sound so good *sigh* I DNF it last night :-(

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    1. That happens! Sometimes a book is simply not meant for you :)

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  10. I'm soooo glad you liked this one. I ADORED IT SO MUCH FJDAKLSD I CANNOT EVEN BASICALLY. I just connected to Mickey a LOT. And I loved how relatable and dimensional all the characters were...and just...gah. I mean they were "ordinary" but somehow that made them more special?! Well, one wasn't ordinary, but he was adorable anyway. hehe. And I loved the sibling relationships too. FAVOURITE. <3

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    1. Yes! He really managed to create that whole 'you are special in your own way, even if you are ordinary' vibe.

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  11. Great to hear that this one struck a chord with you Mel! I'm a fantasy reader, so I wanted to hear more about the indie kids but I agree, there was some fantastic messaging here to show that you don't NEED to be a hero.

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  12. How about that therapy chapter? It was so realistic that I started to cry. I haven't seen many other authors really able to tackle therapy as healing in books. It always seems to be a trap. But Ness pegged that conversation with some skills and respect.

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    1. I've never been in such a situation, but I did thought it was really well-written!

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  13. I have this one on my shelf that I bought when I was in NY. You're review made me want to pick it up asap! I love that there's a diverse cast of characters, but it's not made into a huge deal. I think I'll be adding this one to my January TBR.

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  14. See I did appreciate that Ness wrote this book about the 'ordinary' kids but the whole thing was just a little too weird for me - especially when you throw in Jared's cat-god relation. I do intend to try more of his work though because I think it was just this one, not his writing style.

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