The Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness.
Since his Chaos Walking series, every book by Patrick Ness has been a major event in the world of Young Adult literature. Indeed it is a major literary event for all literature. So it is with this novel.
It took me three days to read this novel because I wanted it to. In the words of Winston Churchill it is a “mystery inside an enigma’ and I am not sure I fully understand it yet but over the next few months I will probably get there.
Patrick Ness supplies a message with the book that probably provides the answer when he says “this book is for all the Unchosen Ones” but of course he has to provide a Chosen One so we can distinguish between the two. I will let you the reader work out who the Chosen One is and why the rest of us just live here.
The novel is centred in a small American town, in a typical American family or is it? – a typical family?
Mike is approaching Graduation and the end of year Prom at the local high school. His sister Mel is to graduate too, she had a year off due to a problem with anorexia. Mike suffers from OCD and has two friends, a girl called Henna who he is infatuated with and a big boy with healing powers named Jared. Mike’s father is an alcoholic with a past, his mother is a politician and his younger sister Meredith loves a 1D type boy band called Bolt of Fire. The plot is about all the interaction between this group and it is simply written and compulsive reading.
I thought Ness may be taking the water out of the American way of life, maybe yes maybe no, you decide. I will say “is there a nation on earth that puts therapy on a pedestal the way Americans do?”
The structure of the novel is unique as there are two stories going on that are linked and touch each other and bring a science fiction feel to the novel. Before each chapter begins there are a couple of paragraphs about the Immortals breaking through to create havoc and the impact they have on “indie kids”, life’s people that no-one wants to see. The link between the two is the Chosen One. Fascinating.
A very entertaining and thought provoking novel. I loved it. I will leave you with a quote from the novel “why does everything have to mean something”. Brilliant!