Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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Copy of Title_ Author_ Page Count_ Publish Date_ Publisher_ (9).pngSynopsis

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…

My review

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Rating: 3.5 stars

In case you’re more than a little confused as to what this book is about, let me help you out. This is a very unique take on the “chosen ones”. Or, really, on the not chosen ones. Mikey is a teenage boy who suffers from OCD with a sister who suffers from an ED, a mother who is a politician, and a father who is an embezzling drunk. One of his best friends is gay and part god, and his other best friend is the focus of his unrequited love. Mikey’s life might sound a bit over the top, but he reminds readers: he’s not a chosen one. He’s a background character in the lives of the chosen ones. He’s just living.

What is a chosen one, you may ask? It’s simple really. They are the one’s that are usually narrating the stories. The teenagers who suddenly become responsible for all of man kind. Harry Potter, Katniss, Tris. You know them. You probably love them. Mikey… is not one of them.

I actually really enjoyed how Patrick Ness spun this trope. You ever get that weird feeling when you’re suddenly aware of something that you’d never noticed even moments before? Like, hey, was that there this whole time? How did I miss that? That’s how I felt reading this book. I’ve never considered the ordinary people in dystopian books who just make up the background. I mean, any good author can do that for you, right? They can make you forget about everything else and focus on what they want you to focus on. That’s pretty much always the MC who is trying to save the world. Patrick Ness, however, completely turned that over and gives you a different point of view.

This was a very amusing story to me. Every chapter consisted of a small blurb about the fight between the chosen ones and the “Immortals”, just to make sure you’re up to date with how the saving of humanity is coming along. The focus, though, is on the people just living. I thought it was really unique and fun.

However, while I loved the idea of the whole thing and really enjoyed it as a whole, it was very… anticlimactic. Things were happening, sure, but it wasn’t the most riveting story. I guess that’s kind of the point, since Mikey and his friends and family aren’t the chosen ones leading exciting, dangerous lives, but… I just felt like not much was actually happening.

I really enjoyed Mikey and his friend group. Other than Mikey, everyone was very two dimensional, but I still loved them all. I was rooting for each of them, because they were all fighting their own battles… even if those battles don’t seem as important as the one that the chosen ones were fighting.

I will say that the formatting of this can catch you slightly off guard at first, but I got the hang of it after the first couple of chapters. I was just very confused about the whole “indie kid” thing,  but it starts to make sense after Mikey explains things. Overall, I think it was a pretty fun read. I laughed at all the extremes that Ness made sure to add in and I appreciated that he involved lots of mental illness rep and LGBTQ+ rep. I think it’s the kind of thing you read for a light, fun, comedic time. It can feel a little deeper at times, but for the most part its kind of making fun of tropes and giving you a laugh while doing so.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

  1. I’ll be honest, I love Patrick Ness but this book pretty much consistently flies under my radar and is just… there. Which is ironic, considering that’s, essentially, not unlike what the book is supposed to be like/about? I’m not typing especially coherent (tired) so that may have made more sense in my head. BUT, basically, great review. I’m a little more intrigued in this book now and want to see up close how Ness portrays it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wanting to check out Ness for quite some time, and this just happened to be the first book of his that I had access to (the audio is on Scribd!) so I went ahead and checked it out. Really, my favorite about this was that he turned tropes over on their heads. It was very unique in that way. Not much actually happens in it, to be honest, but it’s pretty fast and overall enjoyable!


  2. How interesting! If you ever do a Buffy watch, this reminds me of the episode “The Zeppo”, because that is exactly how Xander is described – the background character that really doesn’t do much for the story. The story is about Buffy for the most part, and Xander really was just the guy that things happened to, not the one that saved the day. I may have to add this book to my TBR to check it out. Thanks for this awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, that makes me even more interested in watching the show! Xander’s description sounds a lot like this. Knowing your reading tastes, I think that this is something you’d enjoy, though probably not love haha. The audio is on scribd!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing review, Brittany! I have almost picked this one up so many times and then just, not done it lol. Unlike you, for some reason I spend a lot of time thinking about the people in the background of books. Like, when an author is casually like “all these people’s houses are burning down” then moves on I’m like, hello? Are they okay? Did everyone get out? What about their pets? It’s kind of a problem lol. Anyways, I think that I would really enjoy this, I should read it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That just made me laugh so much 😂😂 I’m glad that someone is paying attention to the background characters! I have no idea why I don’t think of them often. In rare cases (like if their house was to catch on fire), I’ll fleetingly wonder about them, but I definitely get transfixed by the MC. This book won’t change your life or anything, but it’s good for a laugh and even a little mental illness rep!

      Liked by 1 person

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