Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

There's something about indie kids that draws vampires, soul-stealing ghosts, and flesh-eating zombies. It seems like they always are blowing things up and wrecking the town. Mike, however, is not an indie kid. So, when weird blue lights start shooting up all over town, animals begin to come back to life, and, all of a sudden, indie kids are dying left and right, Mike and his friends start to get pretty nervous. There are only four and a half weeks left until graduation, and Mike doesn't care about saving the world--he just wants to graduate before the school blows up.

This was an incredible read. Ness's writing style has the perfect degree of sarcasm. He brilliantly captures the difficulties of impending change and impending doom. The characters are not painted in broad strokes. Instead, they have real problems that they handle realistically against a backdrop of a pending apocalypse. Ness discusses anxiety, anorexia, and alcoholism within the novel without ever becoming a sob story, nor underselling the issues of each and every character. I'm floored. This was my first of Patrick Ness's work, and I look forward to reading more.

Although I would argue that there's nothing addressed in the book that is tackled in any greater detail than a primetime cable show, there are some mature topics discussed. Teen premarital relations, homosexuality, alcohol. Recommended at parental discretion for ages 14+. 

© 2017, Copyright Miriam Braud

While I try to post content warnings if I, personally, identify anything that I think is not appropriate for my students who range in age from 11-14, I recommend that all content is perused by parents to ensure that the individual and unique values of each family is upheld.

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