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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…
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.