My book review of 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here' by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness
Recommended age: Teenager
The Rest of Us Just Live Here
by Patrick Ness

There has been much anticipation for this book. Although I've only read one book by Patrick Ness, 'More Than This' (which I thought was fantastic), I too was very excited about a new title. But I'm afraid I didn't like it as much!

Ness has been interviewed about this book saying that he wanted to write something where the protagonist doesn't want to be the 'hero', the 'chosen one'.

This is a trend in YA books at the moment, says Ness, and he wanted to explore a storyline that didn't follow that track.

For me, the result is a little confused. I loved the presentation of Mikey. He's got OCD so in times of stress washes his hands repeatedly or can't stop counting. His family comprises an alcoholic father, an ambitious and largely absent mother involved in politics, a sister who almost died through anorexia, and a younger sister who... seems relatively normal.

They are all living in a small American town where terrible things are happening. 'Indie' kids are being picked off and murdered, and there is some sort of supernatural menacing force of blue which appears to be responsible for the deaths.

Jared is Mikey's closest friend and is a tremendous support. He is dealing with issues of his sexuality, but he also possesses special healing powers, and a way of communicating with cats, and mountain lions. And Mikey thinks he's in love with Henna, but she seems to love someone else.

There are all sorts of things going on in this book. It feels to me as though it's two books in one. It's a contemporary, coming of age story about young people dealing with their personal battles of relationships, stress and anxiety etc. Their issues would be significant enough, but they are set in a science fiction/fantasy world which, to me (not being someone who appreciates this genre) is confusing and unresolved.

I did enjoy the book. I thought the characters very well drawn and engaging, but I didn't like not knowing what was going on!

Review date: April 2015