The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

I originally saw this book on a GeekDad Stack Overflow post at the end of last year. I was perusing the library stacks, looking for an N authored book I wanted to read (last names starting in N are surprisingly uncommon) and came across this one.

Published: 2015

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 317 pages

Setting: a rural town, present day

Summary: Mikey, his sister Mel, his best friend Jared, and his other best friend/secret crush Henna are hoping the last few weeks of their senior year are quiet ones, but they’re not too hopeful. There are blue lights showing up in the woods and the indie kids are acting weird again. Mikey’s anxiety is increasing, and he’s been getting caught in OCD loops. Everything is changing. Mikey’s worried about college next year, not being with his friends, and his mother running for Congress. He’s also very suspicious of the new indie kid in town, Nathan, especially since Henna likes him. Jared seems to be hiding something. (Turns out he’s been asked to take his grandmother’s God position that’s currently vacant, and he’s in a relationship with Nathan.) The adults all seem to be oblivious to the supernatural events that always seem to be happening in town. Everything gets sorted out in the end.

Final thoughts: This was a surprising hit for me, It’s essentially just a high school relationship story and I’m waaayyy past high school. But, the characters and their relationships seemed very believable. Plus, there was a twist to the story. Every chapter started with a chapter description (in which this, this and this happens), but what was described didn’t actually show up in the chapter. It was like an episode recap of “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” and then we followed the kids who weren’t Scoobies (they called them indie kids in the book). Mikey and his friends were just trying to live their lives and not get caught up in the blue lights. I really cared about them and whether or not they could get through their issues. Mikey even went into therapy and started taking medication for his mental problems, which helped him. I was glad the author didn’t go the “try really hard and you’ll fix yourself” route. The friends had to work through their own issues and their relationships. Each of them had something that took them outside of the cool clique – Mikey had anxiety; Mel had anorexia and nearly died the previous year; Jared was gay; and Henna was black and her parents were missionaries. Overall, it was a heart-warming, and hopeful story.

Title comes from: There was a big quest to keep the Immortals from entering our realm, but the story was about the people not involved in the question quest – it was about the rest of us, not the special people.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #100 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge – looks like I actually made it!!, and an N in my Author Reading the Alphabet Challenge.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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