Imagine there is a zombie apocalypse going on. Or vampires have taken over the world. Or dead deer come back to live and creep you out. Things like these happen and often enough, we follow the story of the chosen ones. The ones who have to rid the world of evil. But what if you are just an innocent bystander in all of this? What if you are just minding your own business while the world around you burns? That’s basically what The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is about. The story of ordinary people in an extraordinary world. Did I like it? Keep reading!
My first Patrick Ness book
This is the first time I’ve read a book from Patrick Ness, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. The book was recommended to me and I was ready to be surprised. I liked the idea behind this book. It is a unique take on things and an interesting concept. However, I liked the idea more than the actual story. It did not grab my attention and it did not make me want to keep reading. In fact, I struggled to actually finish this book, which is sad because the writing was amazing. The story was just a bit boring.
The story is about ordinary kids who live ordinary lives. Of course they have their own issues. Eating disorders, heartbreak, struggles about growing up and the inevitable change of adolescence. This could be interesting, but somehow the characters are just not appealing to me. Especially the narrator, Mikey, is a bore and whines more than Bella Swan. At times he would directly speak to the audience as though he was really sitting next to you and telling you the story, but this did not have the desired effect. It was distracting and made me lose even more interest in the story.
The most interesting parts about the book were the first paragraphs of each chapter, in which the adventures of the ‘Indie kids’ a.k.a the chosen ones, were described. I enjoyed these parts the most and even though I know that the whole idea centers around the concept of normal people living their lives during these dark times, I just wished that these small parts were the actual story I was reading. The main story was a good coming-of-age tale, but not one that touched me.
There wasn’t a single event so life-changing that I felt for these characters. And feeling connected with the characters of the book I am reading is an important part of my reading experience. This reading experience just left me confused and wondering what the hell I was reading most of the time. We know paranormal things are happening, but we never REALLY learn what is going on until it all happened. We were just stuck with the wrong characters the whole time.
Now I see why people are impressed by Ness. His writing is beautiful and if I have to believe all the reviews, other books by him are way more amazing than this one. So I would like to read something else by him soon and give him a second chance. This book just wasn’t the right one for me, despite the blurb making me believe otherwise.
If you are interested in serious coming-of-age stories, this might be something you will enjoy. Otherwise you might find that you feel a bit cheated by the blurb.