Very good, but I wanted something extraordinary. Satchel and all. 3.5 stars
The blurb: 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.
The concept of this book is terrific. You’ll enjoy the satire even more if you’ve read a lot of the books or seen any of the TV shows and movies The Rest of Us Just Live Here is satirizing. I laughed out loud the first time we find out the main “indie kid” heroine is called Satchel. Genius.
As this is Patrick Ness, unsurprisingly the writing is excellent. Mikey is a consistent and believable first person voice. You come to care about him, although I found him a little irritating in places (mainly his persistent jealousy). His sisters and friends are similarly likeable. Another highlight was the description of the concert attended Mikey, Mel and their young sister Meredith. I could almost feel the earth-shaking screaming of the hundreds of ten and eleven year old girls. I wonder if Ness has been forced to attend a 1D concert recently…
However. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about the “normal”, non-indie kids. The kids you see in the background and corner of the frame while the camera is focused on the indie hero and heroine. And while the lives of the non-indie kids aren’t boring at all (OCD and anorexia being involved for starters), overall this book felt “normal”. That is, after A Monster Calls, the Chaos Walking Trilogy and More Than This, Ness has set us up to expect his books to give us something extraordinary, and I found this book to be very good and “only” very good.
Finally: if this is your first Patrick Ness and you’re left underwhelmed, please, please, don’t give up on him. Read A Monster Calls or the Chaos Walking trilogy! (click on the links for my gushing reviews).
Next year I must try some of his adult fiction… any recommendations?