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The Rest of Us Just Live Here
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, author of More Than This and A Monster Calls, is a contemporary fantasy novel that follows the lives and problems of a group of teens who aren't "The Chosen Ones." Strong language includes a half dozen uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "hell," "damn," "dick," and "bastard." Mikey and the other teen characters are interested in sex and relationships (some opposite-sex, some same-sex) but approach the issue with maturity. A teen boy and girl kiss, cuddle, and eventually make love, but it's without graphic details. There are some violent scenes, but they happen at a remove from the main cast of characters (except when Mikey's sister punches a reporter).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
With his politician mother ready to embark on a new campaign and his father sinking deeper into alcoholism, high school senior Mikey mostly wants to go to the prom, graduate, and head off to college. But there also are the issues of Mel, his bulimic older sister, and his irrepressible younger sister, Meredith, not to mention Jared, his suddenly secretive best friend, and Henna, the girl he's known forever but now has a massive crush on. While Mikey deals with those problems, superpowered "indie" kids in town seem to be gearing up for some kind of cosmic showdown. What will happen to the "ordinary" folks when the extraordinary is the order of the day?
Is it any good?
There are plenty of fine books about the hero's journey, but here's a clever, soulful look at what happens to the innocent bystanders when the "Chosen Ones" duke it out. Author Patrick Ness chronicles the adventures of Mikey, his family, and his friends with humor and compassion. The weird events that plague their small town are nothing compared with the emotional ups and downs they weather together.
Narrated with verve and tart humor, THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE is a strange yet realistic tale -- an ode to the last days of childhood and the magic on either side of it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the concept of "The Chosen One" appears so often in popular culture. What are its origins in folklore and myth?
What does it feel like to have a crush on someone who doesn't return your interest?
What kinds of resources are available to people who deal with addiction or other mental health issues?
- Author: Patrick Ness
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: October 6, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.