Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Description from Goodreads:

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 worshipped by mountain lions…

My thoughts:

Have you ever wondered what the rest of the students at Sunnydale High were up to when Buffy and the Scoobies were fighting off demons? That’s the idea behind The Rest of Us Just Live Here. It takes place in a town where supernatural things are always happening, but the main characters are just normal teens.

Each chapter starts off with a short paragraph that describes what’s happening to the “indie kids,” AKA the Chosen One and friends. Then, you learn about what our main characters are up to. I really like the way this is done because it really allows you to focus on the main characters themselves, rather than viewing the main characters in terms of what is happening around them. If there was any more emphasis on the indie kids, I think it would have defeated the purpose of this book.

The book starts out with a typical YA feel, with the main character being in love with one of his friends and not sure how to express his feelings. In moves a pretty boy and suddenly she is into him, you know the drill. I actually really loved how their friendship progressed throughout the story, even though it started out so cliche.

“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.”

The main character Mikey has anxiety and OCD and I appreciated the treatment of it in this book. Often OCD is misrepresented in media with characters just being quirky and super neat, but that’s not really how it manifests in people.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I was worried going in because, while I loved the concept, I thought that maybe it wouldn’t make for an interesting story in reality. But it definitely proved that a story doesn’t have to be about The Chosen One in order to be good. Sometimes it truly is a matter of just having interesting characters to care about.

If you’re a fan of Buffy or similar stories, give this book a read. It’s a fun satire on stories about heroes fulfilling their destinies and saving the day.


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