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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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A new YA novel from novelist 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.

317 pages, Paperback

First published August 27, 2015

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About the author

Patrick Ness

42 books18.2k followers
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for Radio 4 and The Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

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5 stars
13,386 (22%)
4 stars
22,189 (37%)
3 stars
17,461 (29%)
2 stars
5,140 (8%)
1 star
1,470 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,468 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
July 3, 2015
2 1/2 stars.
Here's one thing for certain: Patrick Ness is a total Buffy fanboy. Or possibly he hated it, but either way he paid enough attention to seemingly frame an entire book around the concept of "The Chosen One" and - specifically - Xander's quote from season 7:
"They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it."

This is a book about the people in the background. The ones who aren't "indie kids" with names like Satchel and Finn. The ones who do not get chosen, never discover their secret powers, never fall in love with a vampire, and neither save nor destroy the world.

Each chapter opens with a short synopsis on what the "indie kids" are doing. Whether they've opened a supernatural portal, been contacted by immortals, or died. From these small paragraphs emerges a humourous parody of "The Chosen One" genre, before the chapter continues on with the everyday lives, loves, anxieties and mental health of the not chosen.

It's a clever and interesting concept, and yet I was more in love with the idea of it than the actual execution. If I wanted to sum this book up in a single sentence, I would say: Ness wrote a book about the boring, everyday kids and it was... kind of boring and everyday. I wish that wasn't the case, I really do. Especially because I generally love everything Ness writes. But, if I'm being honest, by far the strongest parts of this book were the small paragraphs at the start of each chapter.

Not that the normal kids are without sensationalism - not at all. Their lives are filled with eating disorders, OCD, car crashes, absent parents and unrequited love. But, even though the book is well-written on a technical level, I did not find their stories very compelling, or the characters themselves particularly interesting. Ness has succeeded in writing a book about people who do not stand out at all. I'm already forgetting about them.

I feel like credit should always be given where it's due, though, and I will say that Ness has written a fantastically diverse book, in all senses of "diverse". I applaud him for doing so. And I also applaud him for being one of the few YA authors to write sophisticated fiction that will make teenagers think and take them to places they can't get from the mainstream bestsellers.

I will continue to be excited when I see Ness has an upcoming release, but this one didn't quite do it for me.

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Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
October 13, 2016
I was a bit disappointed with this book. I found myself comparing it to A MONSTER CALLS, which I know I shouldn't have, because they're completely opposite books from tone to message. At the same time though this book offered up different things that I enjoyed. We have an excellent diverse cast of characters & the story itself was rather unique. It's just that something about it fell flat for me. I still need time to gather my thoughts, but expect a video review soon!
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 24, 2018
"I wonder what was going on last night. With the lights."

She shrugs. "Probably some apocalypse."

the problem with writing a book like More Than This is that you then have to write a book after More Than This.

and i was a little apprehensive about this one. my copy has this cover:

which makes it look almost like a middle grade book, and i was concerned that it wouldn't live up to the mind-shattering acrobatic metafiction that was More Than This.

and it doesn't. nothing ever will.
but that doesn't mean this isn't a great book all on its own.

this book plays with the literary convention of the "chosen one," - those who are set apart from their peers and tasked with a responsibility no less than that of saving the world. and they wrestle with this burden and forgo having a normal adolescent life because they are the only ones who can do what needs to be done and they fight evil and deputize their friends in the struggle and still manage to pass their math tests.

this book is not about the chosen ones.
this book is about the blurry kids in the background of the wide-angle shots - the ones who are just hurrying to class.

it's about these people:

 photo buffy_graduation_day_zpsbz5vict1.jpg

they attend the same school as the chosen ones, and they witness the horrors that seem to follow "the indie kids*" around, but they are uninvolved in their exploits, in their occasional demises. on the sidelines, all they can do is remark is that "They better not blow up the high school again."

the trials of the indie kids open each chapter, with a brief synopsis of what is going on in their struggle while the book itself is primarily concerned with bringing the blurry kids into the spotlight to show that, yeah, there's a portal of doom opening in the gymnasium, but other things are happening in what would ordinarily be the background, and those struggles are every bit as challenging as the ones centered around the portal. people have eating disorders, OCD, distant or absent parents, unrequited love, car accidents. and these things matter.

"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."

it's a great blend of fantasy and contemporary fiction, as the separate storylines overlap and commingle: jealousy and zombie deer, the alzheimer's of a beloved grandmother and strange blue glows, bickering and bombs, prom and portals. there's a little cheating, since one of the "normal" kids is also a descendant of the goddess of cats and has a couple of powers of his own, but for the most part, the problems are familiar ones, and they are dealt with in mortal ways.

being a long-time lover of cheesy teen horror movies, and having finally caved last year and watched buffy, there were plenty of nods, references, and allusions to the chosen one genre that i really appreciated, but i appreciated even more ness' little reversals.

"Now you're sure we're not going to be ritualistically murdered?…Prom night. Group of diverse teens. Remote cabin…"

…"That's not the story that's happening," Mel says to him. "We're not the kind of people that story happens to."

it's a fun, clever book, and while it's no More Than This, it's way more than it appears.

* an rare unfortunate decision on ness' part, IMHO.


well, he hasn't failed me yet.

and the God of mountain lions???

even if that's just a figure of speech, i'm sold.

come to my blog!
September 17, 2015
This is my first Ness book, and maybe I picked the wrong book.

Don't get me wrong. This book wasn't bad bad, not in a way that would make me rant and rage about how awful it is. It just wasn't to my taste. His writing style doesn't connect with me. The book was weird, and, dare I say it before a legion of Ness fans with pitchforks descend upon me, really boring.

I just don't get it. Again, not my style. I prefer excitement, a definable plot, well-written emotions and interactions, and this book was a lot of strangeness and too much dialogue and characters I couldn't connect to.

I like my books with a purpose, and I suppose the esteemed Patrick Ness' style is just not for me.
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
408 reviews910 followers
October 10, 2018
This book claims to be a parody of popular YA books that feature OTT heroines and plotlines. The main characters go to high school in a world much like our own, except for the indie kids. Indie kids are the nerds with glasses, the disgraced prom queens, the child prodigies - all those teens that always end up as protagonists in a bad YA novel. Every few years, the indie kids will thwart some alien/vampire/ghost invasion and save the world, killing some unimportant side characters and usually blowing up the school while they're at it. The school is rebuilt, funerals are held, and a few months later everyone has forgotten anything unusual ever happened.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here focuses on the regular students. Mickey is a high school senior who just wants to graduate before the indie kids get anyone else killed. The story revolves mostly around Mickey's crush on a female friend, as well as the problems of his family and close friends.

The premise is really creative. A YA book that's about the Muggles, the normies, the stunt doubles? Brilliant. Each chapter begins with a heading describing what the resident indie kids are up to, saving the world from aliens and accidentally unleashing terrible attacks on the regular population.

These headings were probably my favorite part of the book. It was so much fun to hear about these massive plot points being referenced marginally by people as ordinary as Mikey and co. It was like following a citizen on presidential election day and hearing them say "Is something going on today? What are all these people doing out on the street?"

In many ways this book was reminiscent of Rainbow Rowell's Carry On. The tone, the premise, especially the focus on deep angsty emotion and mental health. I wasn't happy with the resemblance, since I've never been a fan of the was Rainbow Rowell writes teen narrators. Who in their life ever met a teen as self-aware, as eloquent, or as deeply emotional as RR's main characters? All of Patrick Ness's characters are equally unrealistic, which was off-putting.

All in all, I liked it, but not as much as The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,049 followers
February 24, 2016

“Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can.”

If there’s a word that would best describe author, Patrick Ness, it would be ingenious. True, the story may not have the most adventurous plot but the premise sure is brilliant and completely original. I have personally never thought about the side characters, the ordinary people watching Katniss and Peeta fight for their lives in the hellish arena…

...or the kid watching Spiderman fight the bully at the school hall.

I doubt anyone has ever thought about them, like really thought of them until Patrick Ness.

This creative story is inventively about a group of teenage non-heroes, the none “Indie” kids who try to just live their ordinary lives in a small town where zombies, soul eating ghosts and vampires are daily ordinary occurrences and where the Indie kids die off one after the other but which isn’t a huge deal because the non-heroes are not really affected, unless they become one of the “casualties.”

At first, I found the story kind of weird and confusing because of the unique structure with a small side story about the Indie kids at the start of each chapter, but not long after (when I finally got the hang of it), I started to really enjoy it because the writing is surprisingly easy and funny to read. The lack of action in the plot makes perfect sense because the focus of the story is the personal struggle of the individual characters who may not have been chosen as heroes but who are still heroes of their own lives.

I was surprised at the amount of social issues that were effectively tackled in the novel despite the light and comic tone. I was also impressed at the fullness of the development of the characters despite the relatively few pages (for a sort of apocalyptic novel) and satisfied at the conclusion that would make this standalone contemporary/slight apocalyptic novel one of a kind.

Lastly, I learned from the Author’s Note that the author auctioned off the chance to have the winner’s name in the book for a Red Cross fund raising project to help the countless victims of typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines in 2013. :,) I think I officially love Patrick Ness now. <3

Thanks to Will’s excellent review that made me read the book. Do check out Neil’s awesome review too.

Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,266 followers
October 26, 2015
So, since this got a bunch of good reviews, I decided to pick this up. Just my luck that Target would have autographed first editions of it:

The basic premise of this book is that the main characters here are the background players in everything else. The funny thing is that this story, while YA, makes fun of YA tropes and bloated subgenres like vampires or demigods or immortals and kids "dying beautifully of cancer". That's the whole joke about this book is that it's poking fun at how airheaded YA culture can be sometimes, how teens can mindlessly go after the next big thing and turn it into a plague that destroys their brain cells while parents pretend it isn't happening.

It's as if the camera were to pan away from Bella and Edward and start following Anna Kendrick and all of the other nobody characters (but without all of the tryhardness of IRL Anna Kendrick that gets really obnoxious). The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about the people who have to watch from the sidelines and are never part of the larger story, which is probably why this book is very popular: it speaks to all the people who weren't popular in school.
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
April 25, 2021
“We're just as screwed up and brave and false and loyal and wrong and right as anyone else.”

A boy with the simple wish to finish school, and maybe even kiss the girl he's been in love with forever. If it just weren't for all those strange things happening: sudden blue lights in the sky, animals coming back to life and the popular kids always playing heroes.

What a refreshing and funny concept for a novel!
As always it took me a while to get into it. The first few pages, the many characters and all the tiny side-comments that you don't understand (yet), because you don't know anything about the characters so far.
It was weird, beautiful, confusing and so many other things. There's no denying that Patrick Ness is one of the best writers of our time.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
982 reviews749 followers
March 31, 2019
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a weird-and-not kind of book. I mean it's weird because it's not about the Chosen Ones (or the indie kids as this novel called them) and it's not weird because it's not about the Chosen Ones. (You got me?)

In this world we live in, we would rather read a kick-ass hero/heroine who saves the world than reading a bunch of boring kids who want to graduate high school, no? This is the main concept of this book. So, if you're not into this kind of novel, you will probably not enjoy this one. (But who knows, right?) Me? I really did enjoy and appreciate this novel. Because, I kinda relate to the main characters' feelings. And I can share the same sentiments with them.

But seriously, this book is weiiiiiiiird because the main characters (not the indie kids) were living their ordinary lives in a world where there's something strange and extraordinary is happening. Something that include Immortals, Gods, zombie deers, etc. If you think about it, this is cool even you are just the ordinary kids who wants to graduate and not the Chosen Ones who will save the town or the world.

As a reader who can't really describe things well, I found myself captivated and fascinated by this book. The original plot, the beautiful writing, the diverse characters, the intriguing setting, the funny dialogues, the mystery, the lessons and insights. All of it. I love them all. But, I do really love how Ness tell this story. The emotion inserted in every word that made my reading experience so so damn good. The Rest of Us Just Live Here seemed ordinary but actually, it is extraordinary.

As a conclusion, I think the book's main goal is to impart the insight of living your life to the fullest, in a cliche-or-not way. Which you shouldn't forget that even you aren't a hero that will save the world, you are the hero of your life. You are extraordinary and most importantly, you are loved. By many.
Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews625 followers
November 21, 2015
Contemporary YA is not my genre, but this novel was an exception. I prejudged it based on the first few chapters, but as the plot developed, I started to like it.

This is a novel about a group of friends who wants to have a normal life. They just want to graduate before the school blows up. Mysterious and paranormal things get in their way, but they did all they could to succeed.

What was most striking to me was the fact that Ness managed to incorporate a lot of serious issues in this novel. It was supposed to be a fun novel, but it was both fun and eye opening. He tackled multiple issues like depression, anxiety, and more. The novel was a mixture of laughter and sadness. Near the end was the part of sadness creeping in.

I really liked how the characters developed and how they were connected to each other. I always ask for a novel with good characters, and this one has that. the transformation of the main character was commendable. He became a lot independent and wise, as compared to what he was in the first few chapters.

The plot was light and straightforward. The premise didn't wander off from its promise, so it's not disappointing in that aspect. The plot was too simple though, for me. Ness could've added more interesting elements, and that would've made me give this a higher rating.

4/5 stars. Impressive new novel from Patrick Ness. I enjoyed most of his other novels, so it wasn't a surprise that I enjoyed this one too. It's always a whole lot of guessing when it comes to Ness. Like how I kept on guessing how the novel was going to end. Things didn't go my way, but I liked how he ended things.
Profile Image for Blaine.
782 reviews657 followers
January 4, 2021
The indie kids, huh? You’ve got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes and names from the fifties. Nice enough, never mean, but always the ones who end up being the Chosen One when the vampires come calling or when the alien queen needs the Source of All Light or something. They’re too cool to ever, ever do anything like go to prom or listen to music other than jazz while reading poetry. They’ve always got some story going on that they’re heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.
Having said that, the indie kids do die a lot. Which must suck.
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 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.
Strange things are afoot in an ordinary town in the state of Washington. Some of the adults, and a lot of the deer, are behaving very strangely. There are blue lights in the sky, and several kids have been killed. And rumors are flying that a group of beings called the Immortals is attempting to take over the world, unless Satchel and her friends (including all of the ones named Finn) can stop them.

It sounds like an interesting story, and you get snippets of it in The Rest of Us Just Live Here: exactly one paragraph at the start of each chapter, just enough to have a vague idea about how the fate of the world is going. Because that story—of special kids trying to save the world—is not the story being told here. This book is about Mike Mitchell, who has serious OCD and anxiety issues and is crushing on his longtime friend, Henna. It’s about Mike’s sisters, Mel (eating disorder) and Meredith (boy band obsession). Its about how they’re dealing with their demanding, successful mother and their alcoholic father. It’s about Mike’s best friend Jared, who’s one-quarter god and worshipped by cats, and the new kid Nathan, who’s caught Henna’s eye to Mike’s dismay.

In other words, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about regular high school students and their regular, real life problems. And it works for several reasons. First, the concept is original, and the juxtaposition of these kids having these real world problems that are regularly interrupted by kids being chased, and blue lights in the sky, etc., is really clever. It’s as if you were reading a book about Justin Finch-Fletchley and his friends, and every now and then there’s a passing mention of Harry Potter, or trouble at the Ministry of Magic. Second, Mike is a well-written character, whose problems feel real and not melodramatic. Indeed, the discussions about his anxiety and his need of medical treatment are sensitive, moving, and will probably help some percentage of kids who read this book. Maybe most importantly, the book is very funny throughout, especially in the gentile fun it pokes at the YA genre.

A fun, fast, entertaining read, but one with a heart, and one with something important to say about teens’ mental health issues. Recommended.
Profile Image for Kayla Dawn.
291 reviews902 followers
September 7, 2019
This was a little cringy and cliched sometimes but I actually had a really great time with it.

I enjoyed the concept a lot, it was a good contemporary with a fantasy twist.
The writing style was quick and easy and the characters were also pretty interesting.
Sure, especially the side characters could've been more developed but they weren't totally depthless either.

I'm looking forward to reading more of Ness' books.
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews63.9k followers
May 1, 2016
My favourite Patrick Ness book by far, it just felt like my perfect genre; contemporary but with a fantastical element that didn't overtake the character-driven nature of the narrative. I'm obsessed with this.
Profile Image for Stacey.
550 reviews1,549 followers
September 4, 2015
A new Patrick Ness novel is always a big event and this was no less exciting. I avoided reading all reviews of the book before I started because I wanted to be surprised, especially as I know Patrick Ness has a habit of doing just that.

If you read a lot of young adult fantasy or science fiction, you'll have come across teenagers that fight vampires, wield magic and join rebel groups to fight against the government or zombies. They are known as the indie kids. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is about the teenagers who live in the same world as the indie kids, but who are just trying to get through their everyday lives. Because they aren't the Chosen Ones.

The Rest of Us Just Live here is a satire of young adult literature, but a friendly one. It's about the teenagers who aren't named Finn or Satchel, who aren't 'dying beautifully of cancer', and who aren't here to save the world. They're ordinary and their problems are ordinary and their friends and families are ordinary. But they're a joy to read about, especially as a fan of young adult contemporary fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed the concept and it made me feel a little odd, as if I were living in a world where all these fantastical things were happening in the background and I was just going about my life, talking about books on social media, going to the cinema and meeting friends for frozen yoghurt. At the beginning of each chapter, we're told all about the exciting and dangerous adventures the indie kids have been on, and they make an appearance in the normal lives of our protagonists because they're someone's friends and classmates, too.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a well-written and wonderful exploration of what it's like to grow up. It's a mix of the closeness you feel to the characters in Chaos Walking, the sadness of A Monster Calls, and the delicate tackling of mental health in More Than This. I adore Mikey's little sister Meredith, who is much like me and my obsession with Taylor Swift. I enjoyed the friendship between Mikey and his best friend Jared, and watching him reveal his feelings for Henna. And I thought the way Patrick Ness approached anxiety and OCD – from showing the difference between obsession and compulsion, and the way anxiety can make someone feel like you're the one your friends could do without, to confirming that no one is to blame for their own mental health – was important and much-needed. The Rest of Us Just Live Here might not be as fast-paced as Chaos Walking, as mind-boggling as More Than This or as frightening as A Monster Calls, but it'll stay with you all the same.

Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!

I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,741 reviews1,307 followers
October 27, 2018
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“On the day we’re the last people to see indie kid Finn alive, we’re all sprawled together in the Field, talking about love and stomachs.”

This may be one of the most pointless books I have ever read.

Poor Mike had problems, he had OCD, his sister had nearly died due to anorexia, and he was in love with his best friend but didn’t have the guts to tell her. The rest of the story though, was not only confusing, it was also pretty dull.

“I wash again in the exact same order. Third time through, I know I’m gone. Forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, neck. Forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, neck. Forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, neck. Shit shit shit shit shit.”

The storyline in this was about Mike’s life, but other than one incident, there wasn’t a lot happening. The story seemed to drop us right in the middle of something at the beginning, to the point where I turned back pages to make sure I hadn’t missed something, and then there was words thrown in there with no explanation of what the heck they meant! I mean this was like maze-runner all over again! What the heck is an ‘Indie’ kid? And why do they dislike them so much? Is it a race? Is it a word for kids from the wrong side of the tracks? Or what? Because I’ve read the whole book and still can’t work it out!

“There are two more dead indie kids. I didn’t really know either of them.”

Then there was the weird paranormal stuff that suddenly came into things. What the heck were the animals and people with weird glowing eyes about? What connection did they have to the murders of the indie kids? I’m guessing that this is supposed to be a story about the lives of normal people, while something paranormal is going on that they’re not involved in? Possibly? But the problem is, that if the normal people’s lives are so interesting that they require a book, why do we even need anything else going on? And why can’t you freaking tell us what’s going on instead of dropping in random weird occurrences, and never telling us what they mean? Can you tell that this has annoyed me?

“It’s eyes glow blue, actually glow, and on my back in a soggy ditch as it stands over me, it’s pretty much all I can do not to wet myself.”

The ending to this was also confusing, and I just felt that if anything interesting had happened in this book, we weren’t told about it.

4.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,818 followers
July 11, 2015
Short Review:

This is a Patrick Ness book––so, of course it's good. It's very different from his other books, but I like that he writes something new and I never know what to expect. I wasn't as blown away by it as I was by the Chaos Walking trilogy, A Monster Calls, or More Than This, but it's still great––intriguing concept, good writing and characters, a fun and emotional story. There's kind of a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" plotline that is mainly the thing that took away from the book for me, but otherwise I really enjoyed it!

Full Review:

~coming eventually~


Before Reading:


So I got a mysterious package in the mail yesterday, and GUESS WHAT IT WAS?!?!?!?!?!

*high-pitched screaming*

My friend got her hands on an ARC and she sent it to me!!! BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.


Sorry my iPod takes such crappy/grainy photos, but it says "to Brigid, in absentia, from Marietta" (Marietta is my friend's name. :D)

So yeah omg I'm so excited to read it. A;KD;SJF;SDJFJ!!!



OH MAN I hadn't seen the cover before! When did that come out? Well, it's awesome. I love it.

Also it has a release date. August 27th. YESSSS. (That's probably the UK release date, though ... but I will get my hands on a copy of it somehow. I WILL.)




“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 … All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”


“What if you lived in a world a lot like a YA novel? Where people you know have already battled vampires and zombies and soul-eating ghosts and whatever this new thing turns out to be? What if you just want to go to prom and graduate before someone goes and blows up the high school again?

“I wanted to write a novel for anyone trying to live a normal life in a world gone mad, for anyone who actually has bigger problems than the end of the world (again), for anyone who needs to find out that there are many different kinds of extraordinary.”



Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,837 followers
December 20, 2016

My very first buddy read with my favourite, the lovely Lady Pim (aka Annie) of the Book Court

Looking for a book that’s ridiculously relatable?? I found it.

“What do you do when your dreams are about to come true?” she asks. “No one ever tells you. They tell you to chase them, but what happens when you actually catch one?”

So many of the books we read center around the Chosen-One™, the Special-Snowflake™, the Saviour-of-the-World™, but this book is just about the everyday kids (basically and me you) who usually get overlooked.

The Rest of us Just Live Here is narrated by Mikey, a regular senior who is about to graduate with his sister and his best friends, Jared and Henna. With their impending (very frightening but very normal) future becoming a reality, the group is trying to live out their final week together.

But while Mikey stresses over asking out his long-time-crush Henna out, an End-of-the-World sort of event is taking place (hence the crazy blue lights).


I really enjoyed reading this book for the reason that it was very relatable. While Mikey doesn’t have the burden of saving the world, he is fighting other battles like his un-perfect family and his OCD.

But Patrick Ness doesn’t leave us clueless as to what the real heroes have to encounter. With each chapter, we get a brief summary of what the Indie Kids are doing and what’s happening in the world of the Chosen Ones. And I must say, I mightily enjoyed that.

I particularly liked how the plot was centered around the theme of friendship and love and family. Cheesy as it sounds, it was very heartfelt and inspiring.

A very pleasant and easy read (with a lovely touch of hilarity).

“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…”

3.5 stars!!!
January 13, 2018
“The Indie Kids, huh? You’ve got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes and names from fifties. Nice enough, never mean, but always the ones who end up being the Chosen One when the vampires come calling or when the alien queen needs the Source of All Light or something. They’re too cool to ever, ever do anything like go to prom or listen to music other than jazz while reading poetry. They’ve always got some story going on that they’re heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part.”

Actual rating: 3.25⭐️

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Imagine your living in a town where weird things happen. Like one day the undead attacked, then there were soul eating ghosts and after this a really really weird vampire cycle of romance and death.
But your not like the indie kids, you aren’t in the middle of all the trouble.
No, your just a normal guy (well, at least he tries to be normal - and what does normal even mean?) who wants to go to prom with your friends and your best friend Hannah who you are in love with since a long time.
Even though it was kind of entertaining, it was also a bit boring. I didn’t really feel the story or the characters. I was just reading this book wanting to be finished with it and having no feeling at all about it.
Weird, I know.

Characters ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
There is Mikey our main character who’s in love with his best friend Hannah and haven’t told her anything about it. His mother wants to be a part of the US Congress and is pressuring her children into being perfect.
But Mikey and his sisters are nothing like perfect. No, they have anxieties and there have problems that sometimes could get them killed.
No, there are not perfect.
But they felt human. They had their problems and they had friends they could talk with. They had families and weird people at school.
Even though I liked the personalities of the characters, I didn’t love them. I liked them, that’s all.

Relationships ⭐️⭐️
Well, Mikey is in love with Hannah. And Hannah is in love with the new kid Nathan.
And Nathan is in love with...
Mel is flirting with people and Meredith, Mikey’s little sister, is crazy about a boy band.

Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I fell in love with Patrick Ness writing when I read “A monster calls”. Even though I liked it in this book, it wasn’t as good as in “a monster calls”.
It was okay. Nice and readable.
I especially liked the parts with the paranormal stuff before a chapter started.
Profile Image for sarah.
404 reviews268 followers
February 21, 2020
The Rest of Us Just Live Here follows the kids on the sidelines. What everyone else is doing while the few 'chosen ones' are saving the world. The extras on TV shows. The normal people.

This book was basically a parody or satire of typical YA fantasy tropes. Chosen One main characters, love triangles, vampires, you name it.

“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.”

We follow Mikey, a regular teenage boy just trying to get through his last year of high school.
When I say a regular teenage boy- I mean a regular teenage boy. He was boring and unexceptional. I suppose that was intended as we are following the everyday people after all, but it didn't make for a particularly impactful or engaging narrative.

I knew going in from the premise that there would likely be a lack of plot, but I was expecting the characters to add dimension and layers to the story. Unfortunately for me that didn't really happen.
The majority of the characters fell flat, and only had one or two defining personality traits with nothing else to flesh them out.

Something I did love was the mental illness representation. Mikey has severe anxiety and OCD, and I think it is portrayed in a realistic way. I loved the scenes where he was talking to his therapist and enjoyed the way medication was treated.

“Feelings don't try to kill you, even the painful ones. Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling grown aggressive and dangerous. You're responsible for its consequences, you're responsible for treating it. But...you're not responsible for causing it. You're not morally at fault for it. No more than you would be for a tumor.”

I found it quite unrealistic in terms of how the world was so similar to our own, and everyone just left the Indie Kids to do their thing. With social media and instant communications- I think they would likely have a much bigger impact on the political landscape, as well as general day to day lives of everyone.

However, I read this as an audiobook compulsively, and flew through it. I was entertained most of the time while listening. It is just now, after finishing and having had time to mull over my thoughts that it feels quite forgettable. I initially rated this as 4 star after getting off the post-book high as I like to call it. I lowered my rating to 3 stars because that seems to better represent my feelings. Above average, but not outstanding.

Overall, if you are interested in the premise, I would still recommend it. Just be sure you know aren't expecting a fast paced plot or well explained fantasy elements.

“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 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.”
Profile Image for Juliet Rose.
Author 11 books376 followers
August 4, 2022
I really enjoy the author's writing style and his book A Monster Calls will go down as one of my lifetime favorites. I hadn't read any other of his books and grabbed this at a local bookstore to give it a shot. The story flows and takes some odd twists and turns. I wasn't sure what to expect and don't typically read YA so went into it with an open mind. My favorite character is Jared because he thinks of others first. The main character was frustrating at times with his self involved thinking...as teenagers can often be. I would have liked to had more story built around the indie kids and what battle they were fighting, as at times it got a little murky. However the story was entertaining and very easy to read. I felt the author was fair about mental illness and didn't turn it into a trope.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,587 followers
November 15, 2016
"They've always got some story going on that they're the heroes of. The rest of us just have to live here, hovering around the edges, left out of it all, for the most part."

I'm a little taken aback by how much I enjoyed this little tale devoid of knives and murder and grand soundbites. The Rest of Us Just Live Here, like its blurb advertises, is about normal kids doing normal stuff, encountering normal problems, while the Clarys and Meghans and Harrys fight supernatural stuff and have sweeping adventures.

At the beginning of every chapter, we get a little peek into what the "indie kids"are up to.

"Chapter the fourteenth, in which Satchel doubts the Prince's intentions towards her; he weeps, professing his eternal love, one that he's been waiting to give for millennia but had never found a repository for until he met Satchel."

Savage. Absolutely savage. Ness pokes fun of YA tropes, like how characters never seem to use the Internet (Hiya, Nora Grey) and the weird names they have (Hiya, Eureka).

The protagonist Mike, on the other hand, struggles with his OCD. He helps his sister, who is a recovering anorexic. He takes his little sister to see a boy band. He has an alcoholic father and a mother who's running for Congress. Mundane stuff that Ness somehow makes interesting through excellent characterization and by drawing on worries we have in our everyday lives. What am I going to do after high school? What happens if me and my friends drift apart? We don't get definite endings for every plot line, but the book ends with a message of hope. Life goes on and you just roll with the punches, doing the best you can.

The diversity Ness weaves into the cast is awesome, too. But what I really want to praise is its portrayal of mental illness.

"Feelings don't try to kill you, even the painful ones. Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling grown aggressive and dangerous. You're responsible for its consequences, you're responsible for treating it. But Michael, you're not responsible for causing it. You're not morally at fault for it. No more than you would be for a tumor."

Taking medication isn't admitting defeat. It's usually healthy and necessary, and I wish more books showed it that way.

You can pretty much tell by how short this review is that I'm struggling to find the right words to pitch this book. I mean, it's hard. It's simply about ordinary kids living ordinary lives—but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary.

Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,099 followers
April 27, 2016
I'm not only surprised and delighted after reading this, but I was surprised and delighted *while* reading it from almost the very start.

I went, "Oh cool, it's almost like the UF YA version of a Redshirts satire, where the Indie kids all die or don't while immortals create rifts in the high school universe and there's multiple Indie Flynns and gods and ghosts and vampires roam the halls, fall in love, and then die like little preeeecious flowers,... and everyone else just lives there. Satire! A light, YA satire or even a full-on lampoon of the entire industry."

I was hooked. I had only been reading a few pages.

Little did I know that I could *then* begin reading it on multiple levels, even having our endearingly flawed non-Indie narrator spelling it out for us, that all the magic doesn't necessarily have to be real for us to believe it, but he does, and so does his friends, and that's cool and he doesn't have to believe our reality, either. :)

*Jaw Drops*

Okay! That's pretty damn well awesome and clearly stated and I can't love either interpretation more than I already do.

And strangely enough, all these quirky-queer deer-god encounters only compliments and deepens the other half of the story, which is actually about finding your way to adulthood and exploring possibilities.

But you ask, "Isn't that what all these UF YA novels do?"

Sure, but I haven't read any that has been as self-consciously entertaining, creative, or straightforward about it. Ness knows the industry like a master. All those quirky flavors of the mass market teeny-books are expressed so deftly and interestingly in their own right, and I fairly stood up and started clapping at the chapter summaries... (Right before I began parsing how those chapter summaries *actually* fit into the real text. (Which is often not clear at first glance, but also completely unnecessary for our enjoyment of the text.:))

I think Patrick Ness might be becoming one of those *always read* authors for me. I can't *not* trust that he'll be creative, clear, and a veritable master of his craft. Not only that, but I seem to be having a huge amount of fun every time I read his work.

Okay, it's only up to two books, now, but you get the idea. Anyone who can hit a home run like this, twice out of two, has got my attention.

Great stuff!
Profile Image for Paulo Ratz.
185 reviews4,997 followers
February 7, 2017
Que história mágica e louca.

Pra começar que, por mais que eu tenha visto alguns canais falando desse livro, eu deletei TOTAL da minha mente que ele tem um pouco de fantasia. Ou seja, ele é um YA Contemporâneo com aparições esporádicas de criaturas fantasmas. Eles falam em deuses (Não de uma maneira subjetiva, eles realmente existem), de vampiros, fantasmas, etc. Mas 80% do livro é sobre o dia a dia de 4/5 adolescentes de uns 17 anos, sofrendo seus problemas cotidianos.

Pra deixar a história mais dinâmica, o personagem principal está voltando a ter episódios de TOC, e a irmã dele já teve distúrbios alimentares. Falar sobre esses assuntos em livros pra esse público jovem, é sempre enriquecedor, e quando feito de forma delicada e profunda, já merece uma estrelinha extra. Além disso, TEM PERSONAGEM LGBT, e eu amei ele, por mais que tenha uma situação que foi muito babaca e eu fiquei com ódio por alguns instantes.

E pra finalizar, o mais divertido disso tudo, é que as partes fantásticas do livro são realmente apenas questões paralelas, porque NÃO, esse não é um livro que o personagem principal é o chosen one que vai desvendar tudo sozinho. Essa trama acontece meio que destacada da história principal e os protagonistas apenas sofrem as consequência desses fatos bizarros.

Enfim, eu peguei esse livro sem muita expectativa, inclusive eu joguei uns 6 audiobooks pro meu celular e aparentemente só esse funcionou e ai pensei "bom, tá escolhido então por qual começar" e que surpresa maravilhosa. Mais feliz ainda eu estou de ter esse livro em first edition com autógrafo do Patrick. <3

Profile Image for Sylvie .
685 reviews957 followers
May 25, 2018
The Rest of Us Just Live Here
By Patrick Ness

3.25/5 Stars!

All I've heard of Patrick Ness were how wonderful and amazing his books are, so I decided to pick up one of his books and in this case it was 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here'.

This book was something I've never experienced with reading before, because instead of following the storyline of the heroes, it follows the normal people. The people who see everything happen and just have to continue their lives despite the demons, vampires and exploding buildings. At the beginning of each chapter there is a brief overview of what happens to these 'heroes', the so-called 'indie kids', and then the story goes on. This group of friends aka the main characters: Mikey (has anexiety), his sister Mel (used to be anorexic), Henna (being controlled by her parents) and Jared (has some kind of godly powers) just want to graduate, and hope that the school will not explode again before they finish their senior year. Very original (credit to that) and fun, although I do not give it five stars, because the idea of the summary was better than the actual book.The whole plot was weirdly interesting, but it had so many clichés in it.

What I didn't like about this book that the whole store ended with maybe's.
Profile Image for Clumsy Storyteller .
350 reviews726 followers
June 3, 2016
this is my first Patrick Ness read, i heard so much about him, reading the blurb i was expecting a story of normal teenagers who made their normal lives extraordinary Instead I got this super weird confusing novel, I legitimately don't know how I feel about this book so i'm giving it a neutral rating.
Profile Image for Grace (BURTSBOOKS).
153 reviews361 followers
January 16, 2018
3.5 stars

This, by Patrick Ness standards, was a disappointment. After reading More Than This though, I really don't know how I expected any of his other books to measure up.

By regular standards this book really wasn't that bad. It was exactly what it advertised itself as. A book about the boring kids that are always stuck in the background and their boring lives. It was a boring book about the boring kids but it still managed to be relatable in a way that hurt the 16-year-old girl still living inside of me. When I was 16, I was Mikey. It was almost painful to read about his struggles and for that extremely personal reason, I enjoyed this book. I wouldn't recommend it though. Go read More Than This, that book is a masterpiece. I'd suggest passing on this one though.
Profile Image for Jenny.
188 reviews1,311 followers
September 21, 2015
This is probably one of the qurikiest, most bizarre books I've read this year! It's a hilarious combination of contemporary profoundness and overly cliché paranormal romance.

Guys seriously, the para-rom parts are probably the funniest parts of the book!
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