Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Average: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Harper Teen, 2015

These kids aren't remarkable. Well they are, but not compared to their peers. Not compared to some of the other kids at their school who are the Chosen Ones, the ones who find themselves at the middle of prophecies or catastrophes, the ones who are tasked with saving the world the way that unassuming teenagers who on the surface have no extraordinary skills always seem to do in young adult novels. Yeah, Mikey and his friends are not those kids.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a funny young adult novel very pointedly making fun of young adult novels. Imagine all the other students who went to Hogwarts while Harry Potter was a student, but who weren't friends with him. In this story, those characters are the protagonists. Each chapter starts off with a summary of whatever outrageous situation the chosen teens are up to, and that's all we ever hear of them in the story. What emerges, therefore, is a contemporary novel with just a dash of the extraordinary. Mikey is nursing a one-sided crush. One of his friends is a descendant of the god of cats (and trying very hard to ignore it). All these kids want is to get through the usual growing pains that come along with senior year without the school blowing up. Again.

My thoughts here are purposely vague because I don't want to spoil anything. I'll just say that if you like snark, if you like sass, if you like reading YA and at the same time roll your eyes at some of the more overused conventions of this category, pick this book up. It might be right up your alley.