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The Rest of Us Just Live Here Paperback – September 27, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this highly satiric exploration of the "chosen one" genre, an incredibly normal group of friends are approaching the end of high school and their parting of ways. Mikey is just trying to get through the year and hopefully ask his longtime crush to the prom. Similarly, each person in Mikey's close-knit circle of friends is battling a myriad of highly relatable issues: jealousy, various insecurities, and dysfunctional family relationships. The beginning of each chapter also contains an update in the concurrent story line centering on the "indie kids." These are Mikey and his pals' extraordinary peers, those from exceptional families who are exclusively chosen whenever there is a supernatural occurrence. They've fought off zombies and fallen in love with vampires, and now they're being targeted by the Immortals, a mysterious group looking for a permanent Vessel. In the end, Mikey and his friends come to grips with the ways in which they are both ordinary and extraordinary. This is a highly ambitious novel with an original concept, and the five main characters are all dealing with issues that will resonate with teens. Though the two plotlines don't always come together and readers used to more linear narratives might feel bombarded by information, the stream-of-consciousness narrative will please fans of Libba Bray's Going Bovine (Delacorte, 2009). VERDICT Fans of madcap humor and satire and those seeking more thought-provoking alternatives to the usual fare will appreciate this unique and clever take on a familiar trope.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“Fresh, funny, and full of heart: not to be missed.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Ness’ deadpan sci-fi novel pokes fun at far-fetched futuristic fantasies while emphasizing the important victories of merely living. This memorable, moving, and often hilarious read is sure to be a hit.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Fans of madcap humor and satire and those seeking more thought-provoking alternatives to the usual fare will appreciate this unique and clever take on a familiar trope.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Clever and laugh-out-loud funny, the supernatural side notes add tension and humor to the story. This is highly recommended for libraries serving young adults.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
“The result is a cleverly metafictive, occasionally humorous, occasionally poignant love letter to the kids most likely to get sorted into Hufflepuff or who might occasionally date one of the Scooby gang, but whose real heroism lies in living their daily lives bravely and compassionately.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“This clever sendup of traditional fantasy fare doesn’t have nearly the body count as Ness’s award-winning Chaos Walking trilogy, but it does have all of the heart, and then some.” (Shelf Awareness)
“In this often-hilarious (and just as often poignant) parody of fantasy stories from Harry’s to Buffy’s, not everyone is a Chosen One, but “everyone’s got something”; everybody matters.” (Horn Book Magazine)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the antidote to all things formulaic: it’s meta, playful, wise and true--and clever-as-hell. (emily m. danforth, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Magical, mysterious and breathtakingly suspenseful, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is an absolute marvel of imagination, invention, and heart. I truly couldn’t put it down -- proof, once again, that Ness never disappoints. (Michael Cart, author of My Father’s Scar)
“Hilarious! And so, so clever. All the characters are beautifully drawn. This is one smart, warm book, both entertaining and thought-provoking.” (Monica Edinger)
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The chapter summaries at the top are badass. They make me glad not to be an indie kid.