• The Bilingual Reader

"The rest of us just live here" by Patrick Ness


 Ever wondered how your school days will go if you’re classmates with Percy Jackson, or Magnus Chase, or Clary Fray, or Peter Parker? How will your home town get along with random explosions, lights in the sky, vampires or demons walking around?

“The rest of us just live here” will answer your questions. Taking a shot at “the chosen one” trope, this book will try and fail to convince you that it’s just a story about a group of friends graduating.

 As the story begins we are introduced to Mikey and his best friend Jared, his sister Mel and her friend Henna, all doing their homework. As their conversation goes they see an “indie” kid being chased by a little girl into the nearby forest.  Moments later bright blue light erupting from the forest to the sky. Now, in every other town, among every other kids, this will be a cause of distress and wonder, but the group just keeps doing homework. AND THIS GOT ME HOOCKED UP!

 In this town, in this school, everyone is so used to the so called “indie kids” and the strange things surrounding them, that anyone is hardly paying attention. As the “indie kids” are special, chosen, extraordinary, they always find themselves involved in bizarre activities.  Previous “indie kids” ventures include : “the time all the indie kids fell in love with vampires” (reader is giggling uncontrollably), “the walking dead” (no, book, you did not!), and the regular “burning down / blowing up of the school” (Percy  Jackson at the start of Sea of monsters, anyone?). People just give themselves the explanations they need to deny the extraordinary.

 Every chapter begins whit a quick recap of the impending apocalypse involving  the indie kids – a girl named Satchel , a prince, a strange-powerful-forgotten-out of this dimension kin, and of course love triangle, well rectangle, ok, pentagon.. ok, you got the idea. The way these summaries are structured is so whimsical, it will fill every YA fan’s heart whit joy!

But the true value of this book lays outside of the “indie kids plot”. 

 As someone who is struggling whit general  anxiety and ADHD, I did relate to narrator’s (Mikey) character who has anxiety and OCD. There is this particular moment half way through the book where Mike is talking to his therapist, and they are discussing the medications aspect of the mental illness treatment. At that moment I finally understand the true purpose of this story.

 For me, this was a book about mental disorders – how they affect our life and those around us, but most importantly, how our life and those around us affects them. For often we think of them as “causes” of problems or just problems in general, but the thing suggested here is they may be “consequences”.

“Not everyone has to be the chosen one”

 “The rest of us just live here” is a story, about friendship and the realization of its importance; a story, about the beauty of our mundane lives and how unbearably they  weight on us sometimes. Overall, this was a comfort read. It’s a book to cuddle your soul with. It made me laugh, it made me think and it made me …. breathe .  It was one of those books that left me smiling after I had read the final lines.  Many things can be said to describe it, but probably the most accurate is that this is a book that will make you happy you’re not a” chosen one”.

#EnglishReview #YoungAdult

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Teddie Rafailova

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