Home > Senior Fiction, Young Adult > The Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness.

The Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness.

June 22, 2015

rest live hereThe Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness. Pub. Walker Books, 2015.

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!

 

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