Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Okay, so I was supposed to create a review for The 5th Wave first. But there are still stuff that I haven’t disclosed on that novel and I’ve already finished reading this one. So…why the heck not, right?


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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Published on: 27 August 2015
Published by: Walker Books
ISBN: 1406331163
Pages:
343
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy
Add it on: Goodreads
Buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository
Favorite quote: “Me, all I want is to graduate…And then get on with finding out about the rest of my life, don’t you?”

This novel is not about the Chosen Ones, the fated heroes and heroines who will fight off the dragon in the end and save the entire world. It’s about ordinary, non-indie kid boy Mikey who just wants to graduate from high school, attend the prom, and maybe kiss Henna before they graduate.
Because sometimes, there are far bigger problems than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.


The very concept of the novel immediately sang to me and appealed to me like moth to a candle’s fire. I’ve mentioned it before how we are so attracted to literary perfection and over-the-top spontaneity because they aren’t entirely present in our lives. This novel tells me just that. Also, it gives a unique and soulful take on what’s happening in the background of the fantasy stories we read and watch so much.

You get this ordinary guy with an ordinary life, Mikey, whose biggest problems have nothing to do with the blue eyed people and the blue lights and disappearing indie kids.

He is one of the most relatable YA protagonists to me. His awkwardness, fear and anxiety of many things…He is not the kind of ideal main character on a YA novel that dives into otherworldly trouble to save the world. He’s just an ordinary kid.

I like how you get to see two stories in this novel: one was of the typical fantasy hero doing typical fantasy heroic acts and the other was of Mikey and what’s going behind the fantasy story. The short synopses of the fantasy story are hilarious at times because they show these typical YA fantasy tropes in a kind of sardonic manner.

The plot was really simple and had not much difference with some other YA novels I’ve read. But what really makes this novel stand out is the context of how this seemingly ordinary story and ordinary plot is used.

The emotional aspect of the novel and its depth is completely profound. The magic behind The Rest of Us Just Live Here lies not in the presence of magic and perfectly spontaneous moments. It lies on the ordinary stuff happening in life, zoomed in to show us the extraordinary element that these trivialities possess.

Seriously. Patrick Ness is really inching his way to becoming one of my favorite authors of all time alongside Rick Riordan (duh, of course) and J.K. Rowling. He writes about tried-and-tested themes, issues and tropes in YA and Children’s Fiction but then he adds his own amazing, unique concepts and gives those themes, issues and tropes an entirely different look.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here leans more on wonderfully ordinary with some dash of common issues dealt in YA novels. And I love it. I am so excited to read more of his works.

Hopefully, as soon as I have the time and get my hands on a physical copy. Dear local bookstore, why you no have Patrick Ness novels yet?!

4 stars

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