Do you ever hold off things you know you love? Like you’re saving them for god knows what, just so you can pick it up when you need it. I do this a lot actually and I really don’t know why. It happens to TV-shows, movies and books alike. For about a year The Rest of Us Just Lives Here fell into this category of saving-for-later. I’d picked it up on the shelves in the bookstore time after time after time, but always put it back. Why? I wish I could tell you. But I’m glad I did decide to read it.
It’s easy wondering why I didn’t read this sooner now that I have finished it. Reading this only took me a day or so and it was wonderful reading a book back to back in such a short timespan again. Patrick Ness has a gift. Show don’t tell is the mantra of every writer, but yet it’s not easy to actually put that technique to use. Ness does it better than I’ve seen in a while in young adult literature. His prose and ideas are original. He manages to give each character dramatic weight and a ‘quirk’/problem, but it doesn’t feel over the top. That’s because of his wonderful writing.
When the characters get excited or something thrilling happens his sentences have no interpunction for a while so as a reader you hold your breath. At other times he also uses his writing to tell a story. It’s brilliant! That’s what I think about this book in general: brilliant. I’ve added it to my favorites. Not just because of the masterful way he manages to use words to like a tool for setting the mood, but also for being able to pull off this wonderful and original story. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it (although at times it’s got a little John Green in there, but better and there’s also the depression of Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.. which both explains my love for this book. I feel like Patrick Ness nails what John Green is trying to tell with his novels, but never manages to truly get there for me). I want more of it. At times I put this book away for a second and thought about life, my life or the lives of others. There’s one scene in the concert hall that really struck me because of the time we live in right now.
I love the plottwists, even if I had fiery hunches that one would happen and I love tiny moments. Was the thing with the cops social commentary? If it was it’s so subtle, but brilliant. If it wasn’t I’m just one of those people who tries to really delve into books and make more of them than what they are.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a novel by Patrick Ness. This review was first published on Goodreads in August 2016.