I was lucky enough to win a SIGNED copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness a few weeks ago, which made my year really, since I have been salivating after it for a long time. Tammy, a fellow South African Book Blogger, ran a competition with Pan Macmillan and I took my chances by entering, not nearly expecting to win this beautiful, beautiful book. I received a call from the couriers on Friday afternoon, informing me that my package has arrived; and being the bookish girl that I am, I could not wait to get home to see if it was true.
It was true!!
I immediately threw myself into Night Film so that I could finish it, and start The Rest of Us on a clean slate. But more on Night Film later… The Rest of Us is the second book that I have read by Patrick Ness, and I have to say that he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. He has a way of mixing fact with fiction, dreams with reality, that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before; and this makes his work a wonder to behold.
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.
I doubt I can say this after only two books, but I have noticed that Patrick Ness uses seemingly ordinary main characters in his novels. People whose only goal is to live a normal, peaceful life without the added frills that some of us tend to strive for. This book is about the people who quietly go through life, not expecting or reaching for anything world-changing. Well, apart from getting that special person to notice them in a new light, or trying to deal with the difficulties that come with absent parents. You know, the kind of challenges most people face, unless saving the world from murderous immortal beings somehow fell into your hands! Apart from the actual message that many have taken away from this book, I really enjoyed how Ness structured the story, as it reinforced his point perfectly.
Each chapter begins with a short synopsis of what the “indie kids” (aka the chosen ones) are facing on their own. Which is brilliant, since one would expect to be reading about their epic battles instead of the daily struggles faced by a few high school kids. In this latest novel by the award winning author, Patrick Ness, we delve into reality for a bit; taking a break from the vampires and superheroes we are so wrapped up with these days. We are given a powerful proclamation that steers away from all the fame and glory, that comes with its very own bundle of burdens that society conveniently neglects to warn us about…
We are reminded that it’s okay to NOT be the chosen ones; and above all else, we are left with an understanding that there are different ways to be extraordinary.