Reviews

“The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness

“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.”

I should leave it at this, but I don’t think I can…

I am an over-thinker and, as an over-thinker with quite a lot of free time on my hands, I find myself wondering about the meaning of life. You see, I have this feeling that somehow I am failing. At what, you ask? Well, at life. But what exactly is the purpose of life? What the hell are we doing here? Instead of answers I have, as one would expect, come up with quite a lot of other questions, one of my favorites being this: if we don’t know the purpose of life, then how can we tell whether we are failing or succeeding? And why do we have to succeed or fail? And how exactly can we fail or succeed when we know that we are all going to die, whether we like it or not? So what exactly is the point of worrying so damn much about having it all figured out when that’s not even a possibility? That said…

I am absolutely in love with the voice Patrick Ness has given to his main character, Mikey. There’s such a raw honesty to him. He’s all over the place. Everything is nothing and nothing is everything. With the help of his friends, family and doctor, Mikey tries to make sense of it all, even if that means accepting that nothing makes sense or that it is what it is.

I was surprised by the diversity in terms of characters. I like how these differences aren’t written in bold and yet are impossible to ignore. They are existing, unapologetically. I find that to be wonderful.

The way the book has been put together is beyond original. I like how the storyline one would expect to be developed is the one being told telegraphically, a simple introduction to every chapter of what appears to be just another ordinary life. And I adore how both reach the end holding hands, fingers intertwined.

“Sometimes you have to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

If you truly want to, you will.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a breath of fresh air. No one is perfect. It’s about seeing the little things for the immensity they carry within themselves. I believe this story is like a shadow. Its size depends on how much light there is and where it’s coming from. Your choice.

This was my first Patrick Ness, but it surely won’t be my last (hopefully, anyway).

P.S. The way the author deals with anxiety is, in my opinion, phenomenal.



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