I read this book last month but didn’t have time to do a review until now.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a YA novel written by Patrick Ness. It tells the story of Mike, a regular guy with OCD, during his last summer before college. In a world where you aren’t the “chosen one” or even remotely special, what could possibly happen?
The format of each chapter is very unique. The chapters started with a brief summary of the events experienced by the indie kids, the chosen ones who have to save the world, before commencing the narration of Mike. Compared to the events of the indie kids, the events of Mike’s summer seems relatively boring. But that’s the point. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a story about the transition between school and university/adulthood that every teenager understands. Aside from the paranormal events that happen in the background, this story is very contemporary. It involves friendship, family, love and self discovery.
I loved Mike’s character. Ness’ narration of Mike is so honest of any teenage boy, whether they have OCD or not. The strong sibling bond between Mike and Mel is so refreshing to see as it is a relationship not often explored in YA fiction. Mel is older than her brother but due to illness and anorexia, she is brought back a year at school which brings her closer to Mike. The friendship between Mike and Jared is also mightily refreshing as male friends have never been portrayed as so emotionally connected in any book I have read before. Jared is the only person who truly understands Mike and the only person who has time to help in with his loops of OCD. I think it’s really important to show strong male friendship with all emotions included.
I really recommend this book as a refreshing new type of YA fiction. I hope to read more Patrick Ness in the future. If you have any recommendations for me please leave me a comment!