Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
So many young adult books these days are about reluctant heroes, boys and girls finding themselves battling monsters and unspeakable evil. This book is not about those people. This is about the kids in the background. The “normal” kids. It’s a really interesting twist on this classic trope of YA fiction.
Something weird is happening in this small nameless town somewhere in western Washington. Kids are going missing, strange blue light is bursting into the sky. But this isn’t what Mikey is worried about. He’s a teenager gearing up for the end of his school year. He’s in love with his best friend. His sister has an eating disorder. He has OCD. They really don’t have time for monsters, inter-dimensional portals, or any of that stuff. That stuff is for the Chosen Ones; known in this book as the indie kids. They have names like Satchel and Finn. All we know about the fight against otherworldly evil is explained in the titles of the chapters. For once they are the background characters.
I love this unusual twist on YA fantasy fiction. I’ve read many books about chosen kids, balancing school and relationships with a fight against evil. What about the other kids? The ones who just want to get through finals, go to prom, find love? The Rest of Us Just Live tells their story. And it’s a really good story. It’s all about the angst of absentee parents, of leaving high school and the friends who have kept you going. It’s about love and jealousy and family. The mysterious blue light infecting the people and animals of town certainly doesn’t help. But Finn and Satchel and Finn and Finn will take care of that. Mikey and his friends are too busy cramming for final.
A fun and thoughtful book for teens who enjoy the monsters and zombies but want a little more.