Rated Reads

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness

Rated: Moderate

This is a fun, tongue-in-check parody of a teen paranormal novel. Mike Mitchell is an average kid living in a remote community that is infested by vampires, soul-eating ghosts and immortal beings from another plane. But since he’s not the Chosen One he doesn’t have to deal with it. Yes, his high school got blown up a few years ago, and occasionally weird blue lights flicker in the forest, but he’s much too worried about graduation, senior prom and his job at the local buffet to pay much attention to such oddities.

Each chapter starts with a one-paragraph summary of what happens to the Chosen One in the paranormal story but quickly returns to the story of four friends and the really important things in their lives. Mike and his sister Mel struggle with some psychological issues that probably have roots in their relationships with an alcoholic father and an image-obsessed politician mother. Mike also has a crush on their friend Henna, who doesn’t really want to spend the summer in the Central African Republic with her missionary parents. Jared is Mike’s best friend, and though he happens to be the god of cats, he may just be the most normal of the bunch.

Mike and his friends slowly become aware of a threat in their town as schoolmates start to die, they run into a herd of glowing deer, and they’re threatened by some possessed police. However, the threatened end-of-the-world storyline touches their own lives only lightly as they struggle to work out much more serious issues like love, loss and their own futures. This book is a small celebration of finding the extraordinary within our own ordinary days.

Rated: Moderate for language and some sexual content. There are three instances of the f-word, and a slightly more subtle abbreviated “wtf.” There is also a lot of milder language, like more than four dozen other four-letter words. Sexual content is there, but not descriptive. The author uses language like “messed around,” “let off steam,” and “lost my virginity” to refer to past the sexual experiences of the main character. There are three previous sexual experiences referred to. There is one episode of sex in the book, but there is little description other than the sentence, “We slept together,” along with the character’s emotional rapture at the experience.

— Reviewed by Niki Bissell

Niki is an Ohio mom raising four children. Though her first love is fantasy, she also reads biographies, YA fiction, science fiction, LOTS of children’s lit, and whatever her book club buddies have chosen to read this month.

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  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here
  • by Patrick Ness
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: