The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
What about the rest of us?
You know how sometimes you can start reading a book and tell who wrote it without seeing the cover? Stephen King comes to mind. I love that you can’t do that with a Patrick Ness novel. He doesn’t stick to one genre. His voices are different. Plot devices vary. There is one constant, though. Excellence. The guy writes good books.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is as different as it is excellent. It’s as quirky as it’s characters, and I completely enjoyed reading it. The story is about all of us who live among the people the great stories happen to. Except we have stories too, and they deserve to be told.
Each chapter begins with a heading that progresses through the (tongue-in-cheek) story of “the chosen ones”–the kids that you read about in other books who for some reason always end up saving the day. These “indie” kids wear trendy clothes, instantly fall in love, have names like Finn and Satchel, eat organic and all natural, stuff like that. The “Immortals” have arrived on Earth looking for vessels to inhabit so they can take over our world. The indie kids risk their lives to prevent the apocalyptic events that will happen should the Immortals be allowed to accomplish their nefarious designs. They battle, die, fall in love, get betrayed, fall in love again, and prevent calamity. Mean while, life goes on for The Rest of Us…
…Represented by 4 normal (non-indie kid) friends on the cusp of graduating high school. We see them dealing with themes like alcoholic parents, sticking together as a family, love, true friendship, out-of-touch parents, over-bearing parents, sexuality, and eating disorders. There is a particularly compelling story line about a youth dealing with OCD, and I especially loved messages about the strength of love between siblings. For my discerning followers, there was some language, but it wasn’t excessive and felt appropriate for the story and characters. There is also a gay character.
I’m looking forward to the next Patrick Ness book on my list!