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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

eBook - 2015
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Six starred reviews!

A bold and irreverent YA novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable, The Rest of Just Live Here is from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning A Monster Calls and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy.

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 worshipped by mountain lions.

ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults * Cooperative Children's Book Center CCBC Choice * Michael Printz Award shortlist * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * VOYA Perfect Ten * NYPL Top Ten Best Books of the Year for Teens * Chicago Public Library Best Teen Books of the Year * Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books * ABC Best Books for Children * Bank Street Best Books List


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abi_lou
May 05, 2021

The Rest of Us Just Live Here has a lot going for it. As always, Patrick Ness’s writing is phenomenal – he’s got a style that almost speaks to you – one of the times the term “writing voice” is 100% applicable. It also has some great, complex characters, and the story itself is interesting. I’m obsessed with this idea of what life is like for the people living on the edges of the “Chosen One’s” world. It also perfectly mixes humor with serious topics – one chapter is just a discussion with a therapist about self-hatred and suicidal ideation, but the chapter ends and you get another snippet on the adventures of Satchel and the other indie kids, about 7 of whom are all called Finn. If you’re looking for a fun read that you can get through quick, this is the book to pick up.

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

5\5

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by author Patrick Ness is a witty and wonderful new take on a trope that floods most of the young adult fiction published today. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here features Michel and his gang of friends as they try to survive the last five weeks of high school and finally graduate. However, this presents a greater challenge to those living in this specific town than your typical American small town. Michel and his friends live in a town that is home to a large population of chosen ones or the indie kids as they're proclaimed. These kids are your typical teenage folk heroes who are constantly facing vampires, soul-eating ghosts, and the end of the world. The normal kids usually mind their own business when it comes to the indie kids but when the supernatural entities start going after the normal townsfolk everyone is in danger. Now with the possible end of the world looming over their heads along with final exams Michel, his sister Mel, and their friends Jared and Henna must be on guard lest their fates become that of one of the indie kids who have already begun to turn up dead. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here puts a new spin on the classic folk hero narrative as instead, we follow 4 teens that are left with the consequences of all the supernatural happenings that are often the main focus of young adult fiction. However, a brief preface at the beginning of each chapter clues the reader in on what exactly is going on with the indie kids and their fight against the beings at the root of all the sudden disappearances. Along with the fictional events that are sprinkled throughout the text, Patrick Ness also touches on the very real struggles that many youth face in their daily lives. Michel's every day is impacted by his OCD which is not often represented in the media. His sister Mel is also recovering from a severe eating disorder that has drastically impacted her life and her families as well. These two major factors have disrupted the connection in their family leaving Michel and Mel on what feels like the outskirts of their family. Throughout the text the reader can bear witness to the struggle and strength it takes to overcome mental illness, and how mental illnesses can not be healed without hard work and the determination to get better. It also shows that mental illness is a very real issue that needs the same help and support to overcome that physical illnesses do. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is a delightful text that is refreshingly unique, from its characters to its plot, and shows the reality of how difficult and complicated families can be that many people can relate to.

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DianeSeiler
Oct 07, 2020

For those of us who spent our teen years (and later!) reading about - and later watching - fantasy and SF about the Hero Journey of those-who-are-called-to-be-special, this is a lovely, many-layered story of what it would be like to actually live there. The author plays with the tropes so dexterously, his "real people" teens are beautifully drawn, and the chapter summaries made me laugh out loud.

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michaelwager
Mar 28, 2020

Mikey is not a hero. He's not one of the "indie kids", the group that ends up saving the world every few years from things like zombies or soul-eating ghosts. He's just a normal kid, trying to survive high school, go to prom, graduate, work up the nerve to ask out the girl he has a crush on, and deal with his OCD and his mom running for yet another political office. And even though strange things are happening again, with weird blue lights and mysterious explosions, but Mikey and his friends are just trying to get through their Senior year.

This book takes the fascinating angle of showing a paranormal adventure story from the perspective of a peripheral bystander. It's funny in an ironic, deadpan way. I really enjoyed that the chapter headings told what was going on with the indie kids, but the events they describe are not directly referenced in the main text. It's a clever, interesting, and enjoyable read.

k
kristadarling
Jun 07, 2019

Yeah, sounds interesting but its not. I was actually more interested in the smaller snip-its about the indie kids. Go figure

JCLBeckyC Mar 15, 2018

I could totally relate to Mikey, the narrator of this spoof on teen paranormal romances. He fights his internal demons as the cooler indie kids fight the Immortals who are legit trying to blow up their high school. Again. Mikey doesn't have time to join the indie kids' battle as he struggles with his own family, his friends, his anxiety and his remarkable self-loathing. But don't worry: this is a fun read. That it's also insightful and thoughtful makes it even better.

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lenethren
Feb 08, 2018

It's not as interesting as I had hoped. The writing style is a bit weird and not to my taste, the author uses too many descriptions in brackets which would've worked fine without, the characters are bland and single dimensional, and the plot is boring.
I was hoping for some depth, but this book had none.

r
RebelBelle13
Jan 21, 2018

DNF'd (Did not finish) at page 50. There's a reason why novels aren't typically centered around the non-special, generic kids in the background. It's boring. The special ones are running around fighting bad guys, causing explosions, and dying or killing off zombies, and we're stuck reading about Mikey who has OCD and washes his hands 100 times in a row. Thrilling stuff. Ness tries to tick off every diversity box he can here- POC, OCD, Anorexia, absent single mother, gay friend, questioning and bisexual behavior. There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this, mind you. The fact that this is now being included in YA contemporary novels is fantastic. However, when you try to cram every single one in to appeal to as many people as possible, it gets to be too much. This was too boring, too frustrating and just not what I was looking for. Hard pass.

sarag1 Jul 09, 2017

Wow. I've found a new favorite (not like that is a rare occurrence if we are being honest here ;)).
This book was so insightful. As I read it I was kind of flabbergasted with the constant depth and variety this book managed to give over while at the same time being funny, interesting, and satisfying.
The entire concept of The Rest Of Us Just Live Here-- not the heroes, but the Muggles, the rest of the world. It was such a unique take on it. I absolutely loved reading in detail the struggles of Mikey and his gang, while having the side-a-long drama of Satchel. I actually had to put my book down to FREAK at the plot twist delivered to the Indies. And then Cat God... oh MY GOD IT WAS SO GOOD.
Reading about Mikey's OCD was an experience I rarely get in reading. Ness managed to recreate Doerr's feel of incapitation from the protagonist's blindness. Here, Patrick Ness gave us such a feel of an OCD life, I felt suffocated reading it. I had to put the book down, force myself to BREATHE, because I couldn't while reading. The loop, the loop, the loop. the horrible cycle. I could completely relate to Mikey, so ANGRY at himself for washing his hands again, crying when he realized it's starting again and again and again. I think anyone who reads this book will relate to Mikey because as absurd as this whole book is, with Vampires and Gods and Zombies and Soul-Sucking-Ghosts and Demon Deer and Policemen, this book still remained so very very real. You read it and relish in the feeling of relativity as Mikey worries that he is the least wanted in the group, the least needed. Who can't relate to that?

One issue, it was slightly too predictable. The entire Nathan-Henna-Mikey-Jared drama wasn't enjoyable to read simply because it was obvious and made Mikey look stupid.
And if I had to pick my least-favorite of the protagonists, it would be without a blink, Henna. She uses people in her own way, she isn't LIKABLE. Sorry.

Otherwise, this has been such a fantastic read.
Thank you Mr. Ness, for gracing the universe with this stellar book.

LibraryPixie Feb 19, 2017

Patrick Ness always has such original ideas. I loved the concept of telling the story of ordinary teenagers, the ones usually in the background, that aren't in the chosen one's posse to save the world. I kept thinking of all the kids that went to school with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was really well done. And even though there were fantastical elements, the characters and the narrator felt real and flawed and interesting and relatable. So light and easy to read. Wouldn't say it was one of my favourites but enjoyable and definitely above average for me.

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mvkramer Feb 23, 2016

Sexual Content: Non-explicit references to consensual sex and masturbation.

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KMJ_
Nov 28, 2015

"Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly."
-p. 216

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