The rest of us just live here by Patrick Ness

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Walker Books, ISBN 9781406331165
(Age: 12+) Patrick Ness has an amazing following with readers so enthusiastic about his Chaos Walking Trilogy. Reviews have been very positive about his latest title, The Rest of Us Just Live Here. Mikey and his group of friends are eagerly awaiting their graduation from high school. Their small town has experienced vampires and the undead, and it now faces the threat of the Immortals. The Indie kids, also attending school, are chosen to fight the invaders. Patrick Ness focusses on the real story and places the fantasy element on the sidelines, the action being summarised in short chapter headings. Even though the world around them is a frightening and disturbing place, the teen friends are tackling friendship and family issues, some more unusual than others. As with his other stories Ness is concerned less about providing answers to what is happening out there, and more about learning how to handle the questions. The back story is elusive and puzzling but the main story remains unexpected, challenging and imaginative. The reader is right there with the characters, experiencing the fear when the Immortals emerge from the forest, the confusion over the characters' feelings for one another, and the loss that comes with friends going their separate ways. Mikey's connection with family is strong: he has a caring relationship with his sister and grandmother and tries to understand his mother more as she seeks a political appointment above all else.
The language is slick and clever, with a great contemporary feel, and perfect touches of humour. This story will have great appeal though I suspect not with the same impact as Ness' previous work.
It is interesting to note that the award winning Chaos Walking trilogy is about to be made into a movie, and Ness has just signed up to create an eight part Doctor Who spin-off for the BBC.
Julie Wells