The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Review: Give Me The Chosen Ones

August 24, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Review: Give Me The Chosen OnesThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published by Walker Books on August 27, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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 worshiped by mountain lions.
Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

It took me a while to get my head around The Rest of Us Just Live Here. It reads exactly like a contemporary novel, but on the back of Mikey’s love for his best friend and struggles with his politician mum and alcoholic dad, there’s dead things coming back to life, indie kids dying and other supernatural occurrences all happening in the background. This mishmash of paranormal occurrences happening in a contemporary novel was pretty weird and surreal, considering how Mikey and his friends were more focused on their own lives – such as love, family, romance and friendship.

Each chapter starts off with a short paragraph on the indie kids and their supernatural battles, telling us about the indie kid Satchel and her Princely love and what she was doing to save the world. Instead of focusing on this however, we hear about Mikey’s OCD, family struggles and experimental romance. The weird thing is that the cast still encounter the supernatural, for example deers that come back to life and mysterious blue lights, but they just don’t do anything about it and leave it to the Chosen Ones. This, I found pretty frustrating, because I wanted to know about what was happening, instead of reading short teasers about it.

“I know what it’s like to lose her, even for three or four minutes. It makes you afraid every minute of every day that it’s only a matter of time before it happens again. You can be happy. You can have fun. But it’s always there. Always.” 

However, if you can overlook on all the fun details that you’re missing out on, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a rather smartly written, satirical contemporary. I enjoyed Mikey’s sibling relationships with his two sisters, his spunky older sister Mel and his younger sister Meredith. These are actually siblings who want to hang out with each other! Why is that so rare? His sisters were pretty much what made him able to withstand his parents, who were pretty crappy parents who used their kids for their own benefit.

Mikey also has a cast of supportive friends who are diverse. Jason is his gay best friend who he’s mucked around with on occasion and Henna is his long time Indian friend who he’s testing the waters with. The dialogue is great, with a great balance of humour and figuring each other out. The novel felt fairly realistic with the way it dealt with family, friends and life, and I’m glad there were multiple issues touched upon here.

“We share our craziness, our neuroses, our little bit of screwed-up-ness that comes from our family. We share it. And it feels like love.”

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The Rest of Us Live Here is an odd twist on a contemporary coming of age novel, about kids who aren’t meant to save the world. It’s going to tease you with the interesting supernatural happenings which you’ll never get to know more about. However, behind all this is a hilarious and charming story about friendship, understanding yourself and coming to terms with your family, written with a satirical twist, intelligence and humour.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me this book for review.

All quotes have been taken from the proof copy and may be subject to change in the final version.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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51 responses to “The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness Review: Give Me The Chosen Ones

  1. lalainthelibrary

    I have not read any Ness, yet .I had a softcover of The Knife of Never Letting Go and I traded it for a hardcover of The Dream Thieves. I still have A Monster Calls, so I will probably read that one. This guy is a pretty prolific writer! Everywhere I turn it seems like someone is reading a book of his that I had never heard of before. I don't care for Contemporary, so I don't see myself reading this one anyway. Thanks for reviewing it. 🙂
    My recent post THE SUNDAY POST #25

  2. I really didn't mind that the paranormal aspects weren't written about in depth, because the book is about the rest of the people who "just live here". I've often thought about the people OUTSIDE the group of special snowflakes, and how they're affected by it all, and I loved the fact that The Rest of Us Just Live Here was really all about that.

    I loved this book, and how unique and diverse it was. I'm definitely keen for more Patrick Ness books, that's for sure 😀
    My recent post Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

    • Patrick Ness is always excellent with his diversity! I couldn't help wondering about what was happening with the chosen ones though XD

  3. ayunda

    I've only read the Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and I really loved it! So I was really interested to read this one…
    My recent post First Post

    • It was more the 'normal' teens not actually being involved in anything and having their little side story on the own, but as the main event…pretty weird!

  4. Charnell

    I have yet to start this, but I am very curious about it. The whole contemporary, with supernatural elements thrown in, really intrigues me. I hope I enjoy it, but worry I will get frustrated with the teasers of what is going on, I'll be wanting to know EVERYTHING!

  5. thebigfatf

    Ooooo, I've been eyeing this book for a while. On;y because its by PAtrick Ness and I've absolutely LOVED all the books I've read by him. I honestly think I'll enjoy the quirky, satirical style. I'm a killer for them. Thanks so much for the review Jeann!

  6. "deers that come back to life and mysterious blue lights" 0_0 reminds me of those random cartoons like Adventure Time. Sibling friendship though, ayyy!

    I was hoping this would blow my mind and I hope it still does but now I'm more prepared to be confused haha thanks for the review!

  7. aentee @ read at midnight

    Sorry it didn't quite work for you, Jeann. I feel like I'll be like you and be all after more details on The Chosen Ones ahahah, but I hope Patrick Ness will weave his magic and make me forget about the larger than life + focus on the daily struggles of these ordinary protagonists. Love the sound of the incorporation of diversity, he always manage to do it so respectfully.
    My recent post Top Ten Tuesday: Young Adult Book Syllabus

    • Hahha I think we are the same when it comes to that, I'm like why does it have to be about the boring background character? I think I would have liked it more if it was JUST the contemporary..,.

  8. I absolutely loved this one Jeann, that smarty pants 'well we all can't save the bloody world' type feel was so refreshing. It took me a few chapters to get into as well, but once the storyline really kicked it, I was utterly charmed into a frenzy. Patrick Ness does the weird and wonderful so, so well. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, despite it being a bit of a miss match in genres. Awesome review Jeann <3
    My recent post Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

    • It was quite refreshing although it was so weird, I didn't know what was going on until a few chapters in too. Thanks Kelly!

  9. So it's like we're getting the background characters story, while the "main characters" are saving the world. lol. As if we stayed and followed a regular Joe in her District while Katniss went to the Hunger Games. Very interesting concept.
    My recent post Sanctum by Sarah Fine

  10. I’m so sick of reading about books where the heroine is always such a special snowflake. It’s always so unrealistic, you know? Which is probably why I’m looking forward to this book so much – it features a protagonist we can all really relate to and understand – someone who isn’t necessarily anyone important or special, but affects you all the same.

    And I love the sound of the focus on family and friendship and the wonderful twist at the end! 😉

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful review Jeann! ♥

  11. Emma

    This is the one book out that I'm looking forward to reading and it will be my first of this author. I grant you nothing from his others have really gripped me and I heard a except from himself at an event and I was hooked. I'm glad you found this enjoyable read. Lovely review.
    My recent post REVIEW – AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly Bourne

    • Oh wow, you haven't read his books before? I've read More than This and I really enjoyed that one – it was more dystopian.

  12. booksbonesbuffy

    Hmmm, sounds interesting. I actually have this for review too. I didn't realize the pub date was close! Or maybe the US is different (I should check!) I am very curious to read it, it sounds different than your normal contemporary. Thanks for the review!

  13. I know several people have mentioned the fact that The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a contemporary novel so when I read the book, I'll be prepared. I am a little sad though because I *know* it's going to bother me not knowing more about all the paranormal bits happening in the background.

    Lovely review, Jeann <3
    My recent post Top Five Diverse Books of 2015 (so far)

    • Oh man, all of those paranormal bits were what really interested me! I think going in knowing that it's a contemporary would help, although I just could NOT get my head around those paranormal bits until later on lol

  14. I love how Ness experimented on this. It's very interesting and from what I'm getting something so new among the influx of contemporary books. I'm not sure if the short glimpses of the supernatural would frustrate me, but we will see. Lovely review, Jeann!

  15. I have never read of anything by Patrick Ness, but I've been hearing a lot about them, to be honest. Now your review makes me think whether I should read it 🙂 I'm really interested in the story, and i love how it's written in a smart way! Thanks for the awesome review Jeann! If I see this book someday, I might just pick it up 😀
    My recent post Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas