The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Rest of Us Just Live Here Book Poster Image
Smart coming-of-age fantasy focuses on "regular" kids.

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for positive messages.

Educational Value

The Rest of Us Just Live Here can serve as a springboard for discussions about obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, and the fear of leaving familiar settings and relationships.

Positive Messages

Taking medication for mental health reasons is not a sign of defeat. Families can stick together through adversity. Friends can disappoint each other and still remain friends.


Violence mostly happens around the main cast of characters, rather than to them. Superpowered "indie" kids are reported dead or missing. Two public events are marred by disasters. Mikey's sister punches a reporter. A gravely wounded boy is magically healed by another teen character.


The main teen characters are interested in sex and relationships (some opposite-sex, some same-sex). Mikey mentions masturbation and losing his virginity. A teen boy and girl characters kiss, cuddle, and eventually make love, but there are no graphic details. 


Strong language is used sparingly. Variants of "f--k" and "s--t" occur perhaps a half dozen times each. "Hell" and "damn" appear more frequently; "bastard," "dick" less so.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mikey's father is an alcoholic and appears drunk in a number of scenes. Teens drink beer at a post-prom party, and one becomes very intoxicated.

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).

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bykisumisu1600 June 10, 2016

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness

This is an amazing book with a slightly fantasised and fiction twist to it. It is about a group of teens who are not 'The Chosen Ones'. There is mild... Continue reading

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

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