If you’re looking for your next favourite read, then you may have just found it.
Patrick Ness, author of the award-winning ‘Chaos Walking’ trilogy, never seems to stop. Having won every major award in children’s fiction there is, and being described as an “insanely beautiful writer” by none other than YA royalty John Green, there seems to be no slowing this lit powerhouse down.
MP!er Wilhelmina applied through our You Review section & got a totally free copy of ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ in order for an honest review. Let’s see what she thought shall we?
Had you read any of Patrick Ness’s books before? If not, would you consider reading more of what he’s written? No but I’d love to see how he writes his other novels. There’s something very comical yet tentative about the way he writes, dealing with producing both a serious narrative voice but also something light hearted too. This really works effectively in ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’ because Ness is able to capture the confusion of ‘growing up’ in quite an intuitive way; I for one struggle to find a balance between presenting myself as a maturing young adult and an alternatively more laid back character, particularly when it comes to how it impacts how employers see me.
What do you think of the title, ‘The Rest Of Us Just Live Here’? It’s ironic. It pretty much captures the mindset and mood of all fantasy readers who long for adventure; but at the end of the day we just have to accept that we live in quite an average world, where no big expedition really follows. It’s tinged with the pain of being a yearning fantasy reader, but also humorous in the way we use this pain to identify with it. Despite it all, nothing’s better than realising you’re not alone and can collectively cry over how we can never escape our mundane lives (thank god for Tumblr).
The format of the book is quite funny, in that there are 2 stories going on at the same time – the story of Satchel, and the main story: Mikey’s story. What were your thoughts on this? It definitely defines the juxtaposition between the ‘indie kids’ and perspective of the other characters not directly involved in the end-of-the-world events. I really like the two stories; they thoughtfully show how important stories like Mikey’s are, and illuminate how weird it would be to have a world of fantasy combined with the rational nature of ours. Ultimately it is funny.
Patrick Ness handles lots of big issues in his book, including sexuality and mental health. How do you think he dealt with them?I think this was dealt with in a considered and appropriate manner. I don’t think he was too strong, and yet he provided just enough sensitivity to give the issues the realism you’d expect from a novel, making this book a great example of how to deal with such topics. I also felt that mental health was more of an issue in the novel than sexuality, which reflects our changing society which is progressing in accepting who people are/want to be.
Did you have a favourite character? Meredith is probably one of my favourite characters because she can behave very maturely, seeing the world for what it is, however she still retains the positivity and innocence of youth. She never seems to feel the pressure of what’s going on around her and clearly has her wits about her which is typically uncharacteristic of someone her age.
Rate out of ten? 9- an admirably, skilfully written novel.