Standalone Sunday: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

standalone-sunday

Standalone Sunday is a weekly feature created by Megan at Bookslayer Reads which aims to showcase standalone books which you loved or would recommend.


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

A new YA novel from 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.

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.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here was actually the first Patrick Ness book I read. The premise sounded amazing, and it’s what drew me to this book in the first place, but I can say now I’ve read more of his books The Rest of Us Just Live Here is not the best of the best. It’s still a great book though; Mikey, Jared, Henna and Mel may not be the Chosen Ones, destined to fight against these strange blue lights and save the world, but the issues they face are still important and still challenging for them to overcome.

“Not everyoneΒ hasΒ to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great forΒ them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

You can check out my review for The Rest of Us Just Live Here here.


What did you think of The Rest of Us Just Live Here? Have you read it yet or is it still on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you took part in this week’s Standalone Sunday as well.

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66 thoughts on “Standalone Sunday: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

  1. I’m not sues if I like the US cover or the UK cover more…have you seen the cute US cover for this?
    I did like this book; it was cute in its execution with the parallel superhero storyline, but I kinda felt Ness could’ve done more with it. But maybe that’s just me and I love me some weird storylines like this one, the “non-heroes.”

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    1. I have seen the US cover, and honestly I’m not sure which one I prefer either, but I have the UK cover on my bookshelves so it’s the one I went for! πŸ˜€
      I think that’s what a lot of people felt. Overall it was a good story, and I enjoyed seeing the other side of the Chosen One story, but there would have been more done with the characters in this book.

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  2. I’m sure I’ve told you many times about how much I love this book (and anything else written by Patrick Ness, who I’ve all but built a shrine for), but I feel like it’s worth asking you what you thought of the more psychological part of this book. Based on what you’ve written here, it seems that the part of this book that stood out the most to you was that the main characters aren’t the chosen ones – and that was the part that drew me to read the book in the first place. Whilst reading the book, it really struck me that the short paragraphs written at the beginning of each chapter would’ve been the main plot in any other book, and, in that way, I feel that this book was masterfully done.
    However, the part, as I have probably mentioned before, of this book that stood out to me the most was how well Patrick Ness portrayed the mental health issues in it – most notably, of course, the OCD that Mikey struggled with. I think it is very rare and very impressive to find an author who has written a character with a mental health problem in a way that is accurate and does the disorder justice. Anyway, what I’m trying to ask is what your opinion is of how Patrick Ness wrote about that side of the story.

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    1. I feel like I’ve definitely heard you mention a time or two how much you loved this book, and I know what you mean about practically having a shrine built for Patrick Ness. He’s one of my all-time favourite authors actually.
      That was the part that did stand out for me. I enjoyed reading what the ‘Chosen Ones’ were doing each chapter, how sometimes their actions had an effect on Mikey’s and his friends lives as well, but I loved reading about the main characters in this book. I though Patrick Ness really portrayed OCD well, and yeah you’re right there aren’t many books where the main character has a mental illness, though I do feel it’s becoming less rare than it was a few years ago you know? I think it can be a hard thing to write unless you’ve suffered from it yourself, and I’m not sure if Patrick Ness has or not, but it was really well written in this book. It wasn’t all of Mikey’s character but it was a part of it you know?

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      1. Yes I have noticed that mental illness is getting more representation these days as more awareness is raised; but as you say, it is very hard to write about unless you’ve suffered it yourself (and even then, it is extraordinarily hard to put into words, as you’re basically trying to explain a very intense emotion to someone who hasn’t felt it before) and whilst reading this book I did actually question whether Patrick Ness had personal experience, as he portrayed it brilliantly accurately.

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      2. Then again I’m sure there are books out there on mental illness that have been written by people not suffering from it. I guess as long as you research it well it can still be a true story you know?
        I’m not sure if he has or not but I definitely agree it was brilliantly portrayed! πŸ™‚

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      3. Oh, of course, but I’ve found that it’s often painfully obvious when an illness has been meticulously researched but not experienced. Again, describing a mental illness is like describing an emotion, or a colour – it’s near impossible to properly describe it to someone who hasn’t experienced it, and therefore very difficult to explain it when you yourself have not experienced it.

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      4. I guess looking at it that way it’s impossible for one persons experience with mental illness to be exactly the same as another persons isn’t it? But I agree it’s easy to tell what books and authors have done their research and ones that have maybe skipped that aspect of it. πŸ™‚

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  3. I literally almost screamed because I loved his book More Than This but did not feel like reading A Monster Calls and was looking for more books written by him! I somehow totally missed out on this one and was so so so happy to see something else rather than AMC! Thank you thank you thank you! Live long and prosper πŸ˜‚

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    1. That’s good to hear! I do hope you enjoy this one, but I preferred More Than This to The Rest of Us Just Live Here so I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.
      I think of all his books A Monster Calls is one of the most popular and this one the least so glad I could lead you towards it! πŸ˜€

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    1. This book was everywhere on WordPress a while back, at least that’s certainly what it felt like. Although I wouldn’t say it was the best of his work (and I think I remember you saying you didn’t enjoy the Chaos Walking trilogy right?) so I wouldn’t really recommend it to you know that.

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    1. Thanks so much Marie. Yeah that seems to be what a lot of people have said so far; good book but not their favourite, and honestly Patrick Ness does have some amazing books out already so it had tough competition! πŸ˜€
      Definitely original, and for the first book by him I picked up a good story overall. πŸ™‚

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  4. I know I’ve said it a million times, probably, but I so need to pick up a Patrick Ness book already. I was going to read A Monster Calls forever ago but still haven’t gotten around to it. Although, that’s a priority on my list this year.
    This one sounds so interesting! A story about the characters who aren’t chosen definitely seems unique. Especially considering the paranormal aspects. I’ll be adding this one to my TBR.
    Great pick, Beth! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

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    1. You definitely need to pick up a Patrick Ness book Melissa, I think any will do because they are all really good in their own way. A Monster Calls is a good first choice though! πŸ˜€
      This one is an interesting book. I think a few people were let down by it, it’s not as good as Ness’s other books, but because this was the first one by him I read I had nothing to compare it to and ended up really enjoying it.
      Thanks Melissa, I really hope you end up enjoying The Rest Of Us Just Live Here! πŸ˜€ ❀

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      1. I plan on it! I especially need to get around to A Monster Calls before I see the movie. It’s not out in many theaters here yet for some odd reason so I still have some time.
        You’re welcome, Beth!! I hope I end up enjoying it too. πŸ˜ƒπŸ’•

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      2. Oh you definitely need to read the book before seeing the movie, actually you just need to read the book in general.
        Also that’s weird, it’s been out here since New Year’s Day, and normally our films come out after yours. I reckon I’ll have to wait for it to be released on DVD (like with Miss Peregrine’s) and I’ll watch it then. πŸ˜€ ❀

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      3. That’s true. I bought it forever ago and it’s just sitting on my shelf. I’ve probably picked up quite a few times just to look at the illustrations. πŸ™ˆ
        I think it’s just the area I live in. Sometimes, when it isn’t a huge film, it takes longer to makes it way into theaters. Like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, that one took months. I might have to wait until it’s on DVD too. 😊

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      4. In that case maybe one day you’ll get around to picking it up and not just to look at the illustrations. It’s a short book so I don’t think it’ll take you long to read!
        Oh that’s strange, but I guess as long as you get to see it one way or another right?

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    1. I think I’d recommend you pick up this one first. It’s not the best of his books but it means you’ve pretty much got nowhere to go but up you know? I hope you manage to pull this one off your to-read list one day Megan, and I hope you really enjoy it as well! πŸ˜€

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  5. I just recently read The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and I have to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan. I usually don’t love books with a paranormal theme, and this book unfortunately was no exception, which kind of disappointed me because I loved A Monster Calls! My full review will be up on my blog soonπŸ™‚

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  6. I’ve read TROUJLH a few weeks ago, and it was, too, my first Ness novel. The premise sounded amazing so I thought it was going to be better than I thought, but it was still a good read. The characters were relatable and the concept about the Chosen Ones was intriguing. However, right now I’m reading A Monster Calls and I have to say it’s far more…interesting than TROUJLH. I’m anticipating to really enjoy this Ness novel! Great post, Beth! (:

    -Jess @jbelkbooks

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    1. I think that was the general conscientious with most people when it came to this book. The concept sounded amazing but the book itself failed to live up to it I guess. Still yeah it was a good read. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying A Monster Calls a little more, it’s an amazing book and the rest of Ness’s books are even better I think.
      Thanks so much Jess! πŸ˜€

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  7. I’ve read this one too, but unfortunately I didn’t like it! I LOVE the premise though and would totally read more of his books, especially after reading A Monster Calls. What would you say is your favourite Ness book? I have The Knife of Never Letting Go on my TBR but it’s taking me forever to get to it. πŸ˜›

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    1. Yeah of all of Ness’s books The Rest of Us Just Live Here is not my favourite, but overall I still thought it was a good read. πŸ™‚
      My favourite is probably the Chaos Walking trilogy, there just aren’t enough words to full explain how much I loved it so I can’t wait for you to read it, but next to that my second favourite is More Than This. πŸ™‚

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      1. I agree with you there. I had trouble getting into some of his books, mainly More Than This and The Knife of Never Letting Go (which ended up becoming favourites of mine nonetheless) because of the writing style at the beginning.
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€

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  8. The Rest of Us Just Live Here was my first Ness book, and I thought it was great. I thought the concept of talking about the characters who aren’t chosen was brilliant. I am interested in reading more since you aren’t the first person who has mentioned this not being his best work.

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    1. For a first book I think The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a good introduction to Ness’s work, especially in terms of the development of his characters and how well they’re written, but yeah the rest of his books pretty much leave this one in the dust. They’re all amazing. πŸ™‚ Do you know which one you’ll likely pick up next?

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