The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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RATING: 3/5

SYNOPSIS:Β Not everyone can be the Chosen One, some people just live on the outside of the action like Mike, his sister, Mel, and their best friends, Henna and Jared. While people with strange names fight to save the world this group of friends just try to survive and live a life of their own making.

 

I was a little disappointed while reading this book because it wasn’t really what I expected it to be. I thought that the Chosen One plot line would interrupt their lives more often (and in big ways) and they’d complain about things like teachers acting weird or whatever strange things were going on in town. While that was shown just a little, the book mostly focuses on their normal everyday lives, but because of their personalities and other quirks I couldn’t really figure out what made them different from the Chosen Ones. I loved that all the chapter titles were a recap of what would be happening if the novel was about the Chosen One and I liked the moment where the Chosen One’s story line interrupted the lives of the normal people. Also the play on main characters with weird names/lots of main characters sharing a name was really fun. I guess I wanted more action than what was there and was a little disappointed when nothing really happened even if someone off to the side was trying to save the world. The characters barely paid any mind to the Chosen Ones and I wanted little jokes like “Hey! So and so sure seems to be missing class a lot!” or “How is so and so still doing well in all their classes when I’ve never seen them do homework or turn in an assignment!” It was also weird to me that Mike and Jared sometimes fooled around with each other because “Mike is a horny teenager who would do it with a tree if he could.” It felt cheap to me and it made me expect for the entire book that Mike was actually in love with Jared the whole time and then they’d go off to college happy and together (that doesn’t happen but I can dream). I also thought Mike’s obsessive pining over his friend, Henna, was annoying and didn’t really make any sense. It felt forced especially with all the mentions of the times he and Jared did things together, but Mike “isn’t gay.” Mike could’ve at least been Bi. Overall this book is very blah and there is a whole lot going on in terms of just about everyone in Mike’s family having some sort of issue. Mel is anorexic, Mike is OCD, and their father is an alcoholic. While I’m sure that is a reality for a lot of families, I don’t know if all these issues were dealt with the care that they needed. Mel and their father were kind of periphery issues that only came in and out as needed. I wanted to see more of Mel’s struggle with her recovery, just like we saw Mike struggle with his OCD and I wanted more of them dealing with their father’s alcoholism other than “Dad smelled like booze and fell asleep in his office again.” I just wanted more from this book than what it gave me and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The writing is good, but it wasn’t the satire that I really desired.

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