Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION NESS
Synopsis: In this highly satiric exploration of the “chosen one” genre, an incredibly normal group of friends are approaching the end of high school and their parting of ways. Mikey is just trying to get through the year and hopefully ask his longtime crush to the prom. Similarly, each person in Mikey’s close-knit circle of friends is battling a myriad of highly relatable issues: jealousy, various insecurities, and dysfunctional family relationships. The beginning of each chapter also contains an update in the concurrent story line centering on the “indie kids.” These are Mikey and his pals’ extraordinary peers, those from exceptional families who are exclusively chosen whenever there is a supernatural occurrence. They’ve fought off zombies and fallen in love with vampires, and now they’re being targeted by the Immortals, a mysterious group looking for a permanent Vessel. In the end, Mikey and his friends come to grips with the ways in which they are both ordinary and extraordinary.
I picked this book because I really liked the premise. What DO the ordinary kids do while the chosen ones battle monsters? Unfortunately the story fell flat for me. Maybe it was because I listened to it as an audio book, but I found it very hard to enter the story and really care about the characters. It’s written in kind of a stream of consciousness style that really didn’t work for me. Each chapter starts with a brief description of what’s happening with the ‘indie’ kids followed by a chapter about the ordinary kids. It all felt disjointed and disconnected and I got to the point where I really didn’t care what happened to the characters. Kids who are fans of this kind of narrative (like ‘Going Bovine’) might like this and it’s gotten lots of praise from reviewers, but not from me. Sorry.