Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for The Rest of Us Just Live Here (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…
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Heat Rating: warm **suggestive content**
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: August 27, 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Patrick Ness is one of those authors bloggers RAVE about. I don’t think I’ve heard a negative thing about his works. So I’ve been keeping my eye out for his novels at my library.
I didn’t pick The Rest of Us Just Live Here for any particular reason other than the fact that the audiobook was available and the title grabbed my attention. It didn’t hurt that I saw Patrick’s name on it. When I read the premise, I absolutely loved the idea and couldn’t wait to dive in and see what all the Patrick Ness hype is about.
I’ll admit that I didn’t realize the start of each chapter was a summary of the “Chosen One”‘s story until I was a few chapters in. I blame the audiobook because I couldn’t visually see the change in narration. Anyways, I absolutely loved the idea that Mikey and co. are just living their mundane lives while this crazy paranormal stuff happens to their town.
The satire of YA paranormal reads was fantastically on point. The story basically pokes fun at every trope YA non-contemporary reads have and I couldn’t get enough. Especially as someone who feels as though she has outgrown the YA paranormal scene, I enjoyed the jabs.
The irony of this story is that Mikey has the typical YA contemporary story: an unrequited love, a sticky family life and the pressures of growing up. Mikey’s situation isn’t anything new. Other than the fact that he is the bystander to the situation at hand and the sidekick to his demi-god BFF, Jared, it’s your typical coming of age story and that’s not overly exciting–but I guess that’s the point.
Mikey is the sole reason this book is not a 5/5 or even a 4/5. He wasn’t very likeable to me. Sure, he’s a great brother to his sisters and I can sympathize with his family situation. He has his “flaws” and he is pretty diverse (as is the rest of the cast) and that’s great, but he is just so self-centered to me! I get that he was under various pressures (family life, romance, the world blowing up) but I wish he was just more aware of what was going on around him (and that does get brought up in the story as well).
Again, I don’t know if this is because I was listening to the audiobook and (what sounded like) Mikey’s perpetual whining just got to me.
Meh. This played a slightly bigger role than I expected (Mikey pines after Henna for 85% of the book–and he doesn’t let you forget it) but I wasn’t really shipping it either.
Despite making me confused about the “indie kid” main storyline (aka the paranormal story), I really did enjoy the audiobook. As is so often the case, the humour and sarcasm was much more apparent to me as I listened to the novel. It’s definitely entertaining as an audiobook.
My Rating: 3.5/5
A fantastic concept but I wanted more from the execution and lead.
Read if You Like: diverse reads, male POV YA
Avoid if You: want that “OMG Patrick Ness” read–I think it’s elsewhere
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Oh, I didn’t know about this one. I like Patrick Ness a lot and one of his books, A Monster Calls, is my son’s all-time favorite book. I loved his Chaos Walking series. I didn’t know about this one so I must go check it out! Thanks!
This isn’t one I see around a lot when it comes to Patrick Ness so I was just as surprised to see he wrote it. Chaos Walking does sound interesting and I’m very curious about A Monster Calls–so hopefully I can give Patrick Ness another try next year!