Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
A new YA novel from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning A Monster Calls and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here
While I have known Patrick Ness for my entire life--which of course, I'm exaggerating a bit--The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the first Patrick Ness' book I actually read. I have tried to read The Knife of Never Letting Go, but after my ugly encounter with Blood Red Road, I need to gather myself up to start reading anything with broken language.
That being said, The Rest of Us Just Live here honestly has a unique concept. But if you expect a grandiose concept--just like The Knife of Never Letting Go--or you expect to wipe some tears like when you read A Monster Calls, this book does not fit you.
Either way, that just does not make The Rest of Us Live Here a bad book. Instead, its concept--which concocts fantasy and contemporary young adult--really blends quite well. I cannot say this is a fantasy book. This is a contemporary young adult which is filled with some fantasy element.
The story revolves around four friends, and each of them has distinctive personality. Our narrator, Mike, for example, has suffered from an OCD and has a crush on his friend, Henna. Mel, Mike's older sister, has almost died from her anorexic behavior. Henna has religious parents and she will go to Central Africa to be a part in a missionary or something. And, Jared, the most complex of them all, is a gay giant linebacker and also a god of cat.
On the other hands, there are bunch of kids--whom people call "indie kids"--who posses special power to surmount with mysterious evildoing around town. Well, the story takes place in alternate universe--I suppose--where the undead, flesh-eating souls and vampire live inharmoniously with normal human beings. And it is indie kids' job to defeat these iniquities, sometimes destroying and blowing up public properties.
In past, people call them "hipster". I know, Pitchfork folks will celebrate this--and that's the reason why this review is stylized like a Pitchfork review, with obscure vocabularies and random rants and pretentious references.
Let's back to the topic, though.
At the beginning of every chapter, Ness tells us what indie kids are doing, while our main characters and other civilians are unaware of what actually happens. While this can create a lot of twists and unexpected jaw drops, I think Ness misses the opportunity. There's no twist at all--and the arc of indie kids develops separately with the main plot, until it finally intertwines when the story is about to wrap up.
That is basically my main disappointment.
Even so, for a contemporary young adult, the theme is really typical. A bunch of kids who will face the adulthood, waiting for their graduation, completely oblivious to what the future holds. They also try to solve their own problems. Nothing new, actually. But, Jared and his distinguishable ability and character saves this story and all. He is really unique and caring guy, breaking every trope in gay characters and all. He kinda reminds me of Tiny from Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but Jared is less whiny.
The other good thing is, The Rest of Us Just Live Here has really a good dark tone. It makes you keep turning the pages, and you keep wondering what actually happens, how it finally turns out, and keep maintaining your hopes up about what will happen next--until when you reach the end of the book and you do not find you hope for.
But, it's okay. It's kind of different with any other contemporary young adult out there as it insinuates fantasy element--a good fantasy element. I just hope the fantasy element takes a greater part of the book. But, once again, it is still a good book.