My friend Amanda recommended this book to me. She is an avid reader and a fellow fan of young adult literature, so I take her recommendations seriously! As usual, this book did not disappoint.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a young adult dystopian novel. However, it is not like traditional young adult dystopia in that this novel is from the perspective of the teenagers who are not in the center of the action, who are not the ones “destined” to save the world (those are the “indie kids”). While the characters in this book may not be directly fighting whatever it is that is plaguing their city this time, they are all fighting their own personal—and very real—demons.
My rating: 5/5 stars. I loved this book. I thought it was funny and clever. I particularly enjoyed how Ness incorporated the dystopia plotline through italicized blurbs at the beginning of each chapter. I found them rather entertaining. The book features a diverse cast of characters, in everything from race to sexual orientation. It also tackles mental health issues, namely anxiety/OCD and anorexia, well. What I especially appreciate about this book is that while all of these things are very real for the characters, and often a challenge that they face, it is not the sole definition of who they are. This book is not about one thing—it is not just about race, it is not just about sexual orientation, it is not just about mental health. It is about being a person, and all of the hardship and pain and challenges and love and joy that comes with that.
“Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”