Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. This book is extraordinary and emotional and relatable and OH WOW. (Did I already say that? Just a few times. WELL YOU KNOW I MEAN IT.)
How does Patrick Ness write this incredibly?! (Answer: he is a wizard.)
This is my 4th Ness book and so far I’ve rated all his books 4 or 5 stars. I was 99% sure that I’d adore The Rest Of Us Just Live Here. But I didn’t actually know what it was about, except that it was NOT about “The Chosen One”. I had noooo idea it was about families and sibling relationship and end-of-school and anxiety. So, give me a moment. I just need to hug this book and pronounce it a new favourite.
“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 things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”
It’s set in the kind of world that’s had all the weird superhero stuff happen in the past. But it happened in the last generation and no one really believed and it got covered up as “accidents”. So everyone believes in supernatural stuff, but they don’t. Make sense? OF COURSE IT DOES. I think this is an epic (and somewhat original) spin on the old superhero story. Except, honestly? This isn’t a superhero story. it’s set in the world, yes, but it’s 98% a contemporary and 2% supernatural. It has a superhero background, that that’s literally all it is: a background.
So can we talk about the characters?!
- Mikey: He’s the narrator. He’s, like, incredible. He’s the quiet one, the one who feels replaceable. He has serious OCD and unrequited love with his sister’s best friend and…he’s just adorable. The way he loves his sisters and takes care of them?! HE IS A FINE SPECIMEN OF HUMANITY. Of course, he hates himself. #awkward
- Mel: Yes, the entire family has names that start with M. Worse, their last name is Mitchell. (Although I think that’s done on
purpose.) SO. Mel also has anxiety, and is recovering from nearly dying from anorexia. I really loved that the story didn’t focus on Mel’s decline, but her journey forward, even though it’s far from smooth. I really connected to both Mel and Mikey. Their relationship is SO CLOSE, and they’re there for each other when the other is having an anxiety attack. I love sibling relationships. Have I ever mentioned that?! I LOVE ‘EM.
- Meredith: She’s the baby Mitchell, the 10 year old. And she’s altogether fabulous. She’s excitable and clever (like, genius clever) and I LOVED how the teens included her. It wasn’t a “argh, I haaaate it when my little sister is hanging around”. They all loved her and took care of her. FJDAJKLS TO THIS ADORABLE FAMILY.
- The Mitchell Parents: Well. They sucked. Which is odd considering how wonderful their children are. The father is an alcoholic, mentally checked out of the family. The mum is so deep into politics nothing else matters for her.
- Jared: I liked Jared. He was a really epic best friend for Mikey. He’s big and kind and totally there for Mikey. He has BIG SECRETS too, which are weird and awesome.
- Henna: Okay, out of the foursome (Mel, Mikey, and Jared) I really didn’t like her. I felt like she lead Mikey on at the same time as friend-zoning him. Their relationship was interesting…not quite romantic but wishful? Loads of unrequited affection on Mikey’s part (which actually made him annoying sometimes). They’re complicated. Literally! But for once I found it interesting and intriguing instead of irritating. Henna was black and vibrant and had parents who were missionaries and she was half Scandinavian.
I loved it, okay?! I JUST LOVED IT A LOT. I loved the focus on family and growing up and change and anxiety and love — but the complicated kind of love. It’s not a massively fast story, but it’s addicting.
OH IT’S SO ADDICTING.
I just felt the book was suffocatingly perfect. Plus the writing is just gorgeous. It’s heavy on the dialogue and doesn’t waste time and k
nows how to hook you in with just a few words. It’s a little big magical and yet perfectly real.
WHAT ARE WORDS?! JUST GO READ IT. This is one you need in your life. Just have chocolate on hand. Lots of chocolate. Thankfully Walker Books sent me chocolate with my ARC and goodness: thank you. I needed it.
Thank you to Walker Books for this deliciously wonderful ARC! The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness is published in August, 2015!
What if you’re not the one who’s so often the hero in YA fiction; who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were 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 might just be the God of mountain lions…