Book reviews

Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

As mentioned in my previous book haul post I was really looking forward to reading this. I have to say however that I ended up being slightly disappointed with it.

Going for an interesting take on the Chosen One trope, Patrick Ness writes about a group of high school friends who just want to get on with their own lives and stay clear of the indie kids that face the task of saving the world yet again.

The story is narrated by Mikey, a seventeen year old boy with OCD who has been in love with Henna for years and is desperate to divulge his feelings before she goes to a war-torn Central African Republic with her parents in the summer. His older sister Mel is recovering from the eating disorder which killed her (if only for a few minutes) and then there’s his gay best friend Jared whose godly heritage has to be kept a secret. Add to the mix newcomer Nathan with his past indie kid dealings, political fall outs between Mikey’s and Jared’s parents and the strange blue lights that have started appearing all over town and you’ve got a jam-packed YA novel that sets out to show that ordinary people can still have extraordinary lives.

With a diverse set of characters (I was particularly fond of Jared and his cat shenanigans), strong issues and a somewhat creepy sci-fi plot this story had all the makings of a great book and at times it worked. There are definitely moments that shine and make you stop to consider the wording of a particular sentence. But sadly that’s all they are – moments. I’m not saying that I didn’t like the book but I had such high hopes for it that in the end I was left feeling a bit too “meh” about it.

I saw a review on Goodreads that commented “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 think that pretty much sums up my feelings.


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