The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

three and a half dragons

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The idea/Plot

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a lovely, lovely idea that makes you look again at all the characters who show up occasionally in your favorite fantasy but who never get their own section from their perspective or a chapter to call their own. It makes me think of Buffy The Vampire Slayer when the side characters randomly get an episode and the audience is kind of confused but still totally up for the ride.  

Having the little “what’s going on with the indie kids” section at the beginning of each chapter was adorable and read like the blurb for an episode. It gives you information the characters will never have so you understand why there are suddenly glowing creepies running around.

The characters

I HATE MIKEY! He’s such a whiney brat. He just goes around complaining that the girl he has a crush on doesn’t want to date him even though he treats her like crap just because they aren’t literally dating right then. He fights with her, he doubts her, he makes it seem like she’s not with him just to make him feel bad. He doesn’t own Henna, but he seems to think he should. There’s no resolution regarding that he’s just a dick.

**Spoiler warning**
Then she finally is like “hey if you weren’t being such a dick maybe we’d have been together by now” and then they decide the best way to check if they want to date is to just fuck each other and then apparently the sex was bad so they shrug and say “we’re not meant for each other.” I don’t care if people sleep with each other either in or out of a relationship. I care if people cheat and I care if people hold to the erroneous belief that sex is a great gauge for their relationship quality. Great sex can happen in even toxic relationships and a great relationship may have crummy sex, but if it’s truly a good relationship the people in it can usually figure out what works in the bedroom. To assume that an hour of rolling on a bed is a good way to decide if you can have a relationship is just straight up BS.

**end of spoiler**

Mikey’s mom is such a nitch (I feel like calling her a witch is probably just insulting to wiccans). She doesn’t like anything that isn’t white, heterosexual, “normal”, upper class, etc. She treats people like dirt. But there is a bright side so keep that in mind. Change is possible, people.

Everyone else in the novel has redeeming qualities or is just outright one of the best people ever. Jared and Henna should win awards for dealing with Mikey. Also, I enjoy Jared’s story arc way more though I can understand why Ness didn’t focus on it because the book is meant to be about the non-indie kids. But still. Jared.

The ending

Loved it. Everyone’s worried the world is going to end but also graduation is happening so it very much has the feel of the graduation episode of Buffy. Also, our little cast of ignored characters gets to play a bit part in this season finale and it pulls everything together very nicely. I still hate Mikey, but I enjoyed the story.

I would recommend The Rest of Us Just Live Here for anyone who enjoys reading dystopian fantasy and the like. Don’t read this if you only want likable characters because Mikey is a butt wipe. All other characters are worthwhile. Also, Patrick Ness does a good job of pulling you into the story while you realize that most other books would have focused on any other character. He does a good job of exploring the unexplored.

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