The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness


“Not everyone has 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 the things that are great for 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.”

— Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here

            There comes a time when heroes aren’t always starring at our faces waiting to save the world from complete and utter destruction. Heroes can be found everywhere and don’t have a neon green stamp on their foreheads indicating their individuality. You’re a hero. He and she’s a hero. I’m a hero. What stories tend to dismiss is the perception of every other person in the same room as the Chosen One. What do you think goes on in their lives while our favorite hero fights the Demon, the Devil or the Dragon? Don’t we all have our own problems in life that we need to deal with? Don’t we all need to eat, sleep and tend to our loved ones? Patrick Ness took on the challenge in conceiving a novel that tells the story of those sideline characters. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the story of Mikey and his friends as they deal with problems of their everyday life right before their high school graduation. A day that will lead to their separation or maybe the end of the world cause of the indie kids and their insane lives. Or maybe is that what normal truly is? Ah ha, everything comes down to perception.


“Everyone’s got something. Not even just us, everyone we know. Except maybe the indie kids. They’re probably the most normal ones out there.”


            Patrick Ness has a way with words like none other. Despite being my very first novel from him, it didn’t take long to realize how captivating his storytelling skills can be. Might as well add that what I saw from his writing with just a simple story like this was enough to convince me that his famous Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls are books that are without a doubt must-reads. Here, we are confronted with a story of people who don’t have giant fireworks, ice-breathing dragons and dark creatures from your worst nightmares eating away at your most-hated English Literature teacher. What we have is ordinary people with ordinary lives. I have to say it isn’t easy to make something dull and sleep-inducing into something exciting and fascinating. That is where Ness’ novel might have lost points for a lot of readers and I don’t blame him for keeping Mikey and friends lives this simple.

            The plot itself rolls around a love story with communication issues, filled with a lot of quick and short dialogues. From time to time, themes of anxiety, friendship, parental negligence and politics are explored. Somehow managing to make those moments interesting, Patrick Ness also offers readers the indie kids – name given to the characters that are usually always on the front line of all stories – side of the story through a rather small paragraph at the beginning of every chapter. Short, concise and action-packed, these paragraphs follow their perilous adventure against a paranormal super villain. What’s truly engaging in all this is the one thing that connects the indie kids reality to the ones of Mikey and friends: a deadly blue light. This helps us see how indie kids can affect the lives of all those secondary background characters and help us realize the consequences of their actions on other people and the surrounding; which is usually ignored and overlooked by most stories.


“It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s to do with what something becomes once you tell it. It’s like it’s truer. And it’s got a life of its own and it rushes out into the world and becomes something you can’t control.”


            Although the love story might have dragged on a little too long and left a bitter after-taste as the story ended, the characters still managed to seem rather interesting in my point of view. This might have been because of the level of realism put into constructing the characters in order to make them come to life. It felt like they were actually real people with distinct personalities. They were very relatable and nothing could make a story more captivating than characters that are actually enthralling. To top it off, every single one of them had their own problems and some of them even had a touch of paranormality; which I’ll avoid speaking of to stay away from spoilers. What sadly didn’t work out well is the storyline that was put forth for the characters. Conscious of the purpose of the novel, what I believe slightly ruined a perfect story is the plot. What Patrick Ness aimed for was a story where extraordinary can be found in the ordinary. But what the book delivered was a little too ordinary, to the point that even the extraordinary couldn’t compensate the lack of grip on my interest. When the highlights on your novel are found in the impact of the indie kids on Michael and his friend, such as deers, mountain lions, cops and what not, you have to start wondering why so much focus had to be put on that pointless relationship instead of a substantial storyline.

            The Rest of Us Just Live Here still remains a very thoughtful and gripping story. What I loved the most about it is being able to enjoy seeing the impact of the indie kids on the other characters and the environment whilst Mikey and friends seamlessly continue to live their lives and shrug the deaths and chaos brought onto their town as nothing out of the ordinary. Not to mention how the story also manages to add a little twist where the sideline characters intervene in the normal course of events of the indie kids. This had characters wondering about the role of each and every one of them, no matter if they were indie kids or not. In fact, do we all have a predetermined role in life, having us to never cross paths with some people while crossing paths with others? Are we always “supposed to” do something in life? The Rest of Us Just Live Here shows that sometimes you just have to do what’s right and keep on moving forward. It’s not because you’re supposed to stay away from the lives of the indie kids that you don’t tend to your moral impulses to help another being in trouble, for example. This was definitely fun to read and see unfold in the story.


“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.”


            Patrick Ness’ novel is one that should definitely be worth giving a try. Its plot alone has enough content to be interesting to some degree. It is true that it might bore people quite easily when read lightly, but keeping the purpose of the novel on your mind helps make it an interesting read. Anyone can be a hero as long as they stay loyal to themselves and help make their own world a better place, either by taking care of themselves or by helping others out. The story gets reader to realize that even when you’re maintaining an ordinary life, there is a lot of extraordinary things that can be found. Everyone is special in their own way. In the end, The Rest of Just Live Here is short, fun, thoughtful and relatable.

        You! Wait! Before you leave and get back to your life, don’t forget to share your thoughts about this review and the book, as well as like and follow us so we can get you guys reviews to enjoy while drinking your warm hot coco. So how about you try this novel for yourself? If you’re interested in this story, you can purchase a copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★★/

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9 thoughts on “The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

  1. Great review! Wow I really want to go out and get this book now. I haven’t read anything by Ness but I’ve seen a lot of stellar reviews and its making me realize I’m missing out. Love your formatting for this review, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ! I’m real happy that you took the time to read through it ! 😀 😀 If you ask me, I think it would be better to read Patrick Ness’ trilogy or even A Monster Calls before embarking on his latest novel. I’m pretty sure you’ll get a better idea of his talent by reading his work in the order he published them, you know. xD But yes ! You should definitely try his books out, I only hear good things about them, except The Rest of Us Just Live. This one is really a love it or didn’t enjoy it type of book it.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patrick Ness’s writing is just spectacular, isn’t it? 🙂 And I love the idea of the plot; such a unique take on the typical hero story. I have been hearing that this is definitely a hit or miss sort of book, but your review has made me more eager to pick it up! I have read one novel by him, A Monster Calls, and it is one of my favorite novels of all time. I would very highly recommend giving it read!
    Great review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His writing is truly unique. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is fairly short and easy to read. It is indeed a hit or miss book, hopefully you’ll see the bright side of it when you get to it ! 😉 A Monster Calls is definitely the next book of his that I plan on reading. Have you seen the teaser trailer that just came out for it? :O I didn’t dare taking a peek at it… I need to read the novel as soon as possible ! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is; definitely some of the most beautiful and vivid writing I have ever come across.I’m really looking forward to reading more of his novels. I hope you enjoy A Monster Calls 🙂 Yes! I actually just saw it! I only recently found out that it was going to be a film and I’m so excited! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Patrick Ness has an amazing talent. His way with words blows me away. This was the first book I’ve read from him. I then read A Monster Calls. That one is a must. If you haven’t tried that, you should definitely give it a go. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is quite unique. It’s one of those books that you either enjoy it or don’t understand the praise behind it. Hope you enjoy it once you get to it! 😀

      – Lashaan


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