I’m working my way through Patrick Ness’s books. So far, I’ve read Chaos Walking, Release, More Than This review, and A Monster Calls (why I didn’t review this, I have no idea… it was AMAZING). I only have two books of his left. And Ness is easily one of my favorite authors. His works are so varied, which I really appreciate. The Chaos Walking trilogy is inventive and dystopian. Release is realistic. A Monster Calls is more of a fairy tale, but hauntingly gorgeous. More Than This is, hmmmm, not at all what I saw coming, not sure how to put that into words, but it kept me guessing. And finally, we have The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which is a cross between realistic and fantasy.
Mike and his circle of friends are about to graduate high school. He and his sister, Mel, have some emotional stuff going on, on top of the prospect of graduation and moving away to college. Mike is in love with his friend, Henna, is dealing with absent parents, has a little sister who adores him and he wants to protect, and is balancing his emotional stuff. He handles a lot of this poorly. One of the best things I love about Ness’s writing is how accurate he gets teenagers. He is clearly not a teenager (judging by his twitter photo), but he hasn’t forgotten what teenage life is like. It is hard and stressful and damn near impossible at times, and Ness captures that perfectly.
The fantasy aspect of the story is in the beginnings of the chapters. There’s a strange story within a story about “indie kids” trying to keep the town from burning down. There are blue lights, zombie animals, and a character who can heal others. So, set inside this very real high school setting is a fantasy world living parallel.
Like all his others, I loved this book. He has yet to write something that I didn’t enjoy. And don’t ask me which one is his best. I can’t tell you that because my favorite might not speak to someone else like it did to me. However, each one has something to offer, so I beg you to read everything of his. He’s just amazing.