Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author/s: Patrick Ness
Publication: October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen (first published August 27th 2015)
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Personal Purchase
Have you read a book that was weird, quirky yet it still made you think about certain topics you would have never thought of before? The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness is that kind of book for me. Going into the novel completely blind, I didn’t know what to expect but I still managed to be pleasantly satisfied with it.
Is it just me or is this particular cover just the cutest thing. I love the doodled illustrations of the various characters (and also the archetypes from YA literature)! It really does set the tone of the satirical elements within the novel.
If you think that the cover couldn’t be cooler than this, wait till you turn off the lights and watch it glow!
This is the real reason why I bought this book in the first place. I didn’t have any books that actually glowed in the dark and the novelty of it all just made me get my hands on this (no regrets whatsoever).
The plot of The Rest of Us Just Live Here mainly centers on a group of high school seniors who happens to be the “extras” in the typical Chosen One story set in a small town wherein strange things tend to happen.
Honestly, the very first chapter confused the heck out of me. Seriously, I stopped and reread it before I finally got the hang of the writing style (which reminded me of John Green’s intellectually obscure style). These kids (oh my god I sound like an old man) often sounded way too smart for their age, but I just went with the flow and hoped for the best.
Initially, I was bothered by Mikey’s pettiness and angst. He sounded like a lovesick brat and I just didn’t gel with that kind of thing. However, as I got deeper into the story and unmasked certain layers to the character I did relate to some of the things he felt and I slowly got used to his voice. One of the traits I probably I admired about him is his love towards his sisters.
Mel, Mikey’s older sister, had moments of authenticity to her (the things that she went through was just sad) but I ultimately felt her characterization was dry and flat.
Jared was my favorite character in the book because he felt genuine and real (considering that he was special in his own way). I love the dynamic between him and Mikey because it felt like such a realistic approach to friendship.
Truthfully Henna’s such a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and I found her quite stereotypical.
Despite its humor, the book also tackled family issues and mental health. Patrick Ness did not draw back from writing a gritty portrayal of OCD (correct me down below if this isn’t the right term)! When I read those parts, I felt the hairs on my arms rise! It was so uncomfortably and vividly described, which was a good indicator that the author did a good job with the description.
Then there were moments in the book that things got too real. Here’s a quote that just made me feel all the feels:
I felt like Patrick Ness got into my head and brought up one of my personal anxieties on the page of his book.
Although I have to say that I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style of the novel. As I mentioned earlier, there were moments that the characters sounded advanced for their age which isn’t necessarily a horrible thing but there were moments I was taken aback by this.
Despite the cooky premise, The Rest of Us Just Live Here has a lot of valuable nuggets of wisdom planted in its dialogue. It is a quirky contemporary that pokes fun at the stereotypes in YA literature while still maintaining underlying messages about family, friendships, and what it means to have a place in the world.