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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

by Patrick Ness

Published by HarperCollins, 2015
317 pages pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-240316-2

Age 13 and older

Mikey, his sister Mel(inda), and their friends Henna and Jared, are about to graduate high school. Mel has anorexia and Mikey lives with severe anxiety and OCD, neither fitting the image their high-aspiring politician mother wants their family to project. Hennaís parents plan on taking her to the Central African Republic to do missionary work, despite the war there. Jared feels the weight of being an only child on the verge of leaving his single-parent father. Jared is also a god. Well, technically a quarter-god. And there is the delicious twist in this emotionally rich story about facing a time of transition and uncertainty: The otherworldly is real. When indie kids (itís always the indie kids) in the foursomeís small community begin disappearing, it isnít the first time. In the past the culprits were vampires and soul-sucking ghosts; now itís aliens. Mikey and his friends arenít indie kids (despite Hennaís name) but are aware of the danger, which plays out in hilarious chapter openings chronicling the indie kidsí efforts to combat the threat, making for a merry satire on countless young adult novels. But the heart of this novel is the reality of changeóin relationships, in circumstances, in what we understand; imperfect families; and the sustaining power of friendship. As a narrator, Mikey is real and complex, and a little bit heartbreaking. As a work of fiction, Nessís book is funny and tender and true, and a little bit dazzling. ©2015 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center


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