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.
“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.” – (ARC, location – 2155)
WOW WOW WOW OMG THIS BOOK.
This book was fantastic. To read it was fantastic. And after I’d finish reading, I sat on my bed, processing and remembering everything I could—which was pretty fantastic too.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the story of those non-special ones who just live there. They’re not the Chosen Ones. They’re not the heroes. They’re the people in the background, just living there, going through the motions of life, while the “indie kids” save the world.
The book basically revolves around the lives of four main characters, Michael (Mikey) and his sister Mel, his best friend Jared and Meredith’s best friend Henna. There are, of course, little special appearances by Mikey’s youngest sister Meredith (Mer), a ten year old, whom I loved!
Mikey was the main character, and the book was in his unique POV. Unique because here was a guy, clueless to the point of being ridiculous. He couldn’t see stuff that happened right in front of his eyes and sometimes, it got annoying. And yet, I find myself completely unable to bitch at him, because I JUST LOVED HIM SO MUCH OKAY?! You won’t understand until you’ve read the book, you really won’t. The way he battled anxiety and OCD while trying to look like the perfect politician mother’s perfect son, while also taking care of his sisters fiercely and being the most ridiculously crazy in love guy must have been hard work. And yet, he did it. Gah. Have I mentioned how much I loved him? dreamy sigh
Mel, Mikey’s sister was another main character in the book, with a past that has affected the whole family. She is an anorexic, and the sight of someone else watching her eat makes her very, very uncomfortable. This was one of the most painful parts of the book to read, for me especially. I’m of the old school thought that food can solve everything, and watching Mel struggle was kind of sad. BUT Patrick Ness has handled each and every one of the characters and their issues with tact and efficiency, and that includes Mel. We see how her attitude towards her problem changes, how she grows and how she gets better every day.
Jared was a special kid, and he is the one character whose POV would be amazing to read! Had the entire book been written from Jared’s point of view, I’m pretty sure it would still have a special place in my heart and all the stars too! I loved how, with Jared, his being gay was not something that was stereotypical or cliched. His friendships were never affected by his preference of lover and he was never ostracised or mocked for it. His being gay was as natural to him and his friends as their being straight was and I wouldn’t be lying if I said that THIS is the ideal society humanity should be aiming for. I called Jared special for a very special reason and it was brilliant and you SHOULD BE READING IT to see why so.
Henna, Mel’s best friend and the object of Mikey’s affection was unfortunately the only character I didn’t really connect with at all. Sure, she was a strong, irreplaceable character, and very, very important to the storyline but inspite of trying hard to connect with her, or at least try to like her, but I just…gah…I couldn’t do it. She strung Mikey along, a lot, basically friend zoned him, gave him mixed signals, kissed him for the sake of “exploring” and basically just broke his heart a lot a lot. And that just didn’t sit too well with me.
And then there was Meredith who was just, the smartest 10 year old EVER. Se was the life and soul of Mikey and Mel and it was easy to see why—she loved them with the blind devotion that our younger siblings seem to have toward us—and she was equally protective of them, albeit in a way that would make you smile and miss your own siblings. The rest of the group loved her as well, and she never “ ramped their style” per se, she was just a younger extension to their tight band of friends and it was both delightful to see and also what I would call friendship goals!
Holy hell, you guys, this book has been written so, so well, I don’t even have the words anymore. This is the kind of book that I didn’t even know I needed until I had read it! And I cannot even compare any other author or book or story to this one because it is just. that. good.