So far, this is my lowest rated book of 2018 but I actually quite enjoyed this, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. In some ways, it gripped me right away and in others… it took a while.
For those of you who don’t know, the Rest of Us Just Live Here has two sides to one story. It takes place in a small town that every so often experiences the presence of supernatural creatures. At the start of every chapter, there is a small, italicised section that tells the story of a group of teens who are essentially the chosen ones that have to deal with the strange happenings around town. The rest of the story follows teenager Mikey and his friendship group as they try to survive till the end of the school year while all of these strange things are happening.
Something I loved about this book was that the chosen one story was minimal and in the background. It was actually pretty refreshing in that regard but I do think more could have been done with Mikey and his friends and their side of the story. By the time I really started to get into it, there wasn’t much left of the book. As much as I loved seeing what the everyday people get up to during a chosen one story, I do think there was some missed potential and the book wasn’t quite what it could have been.
Like I said at the beginning, in some ways the Rest of Us Just Live Here gripped me straight away and in others, it didn’t. The plot was mostly the latter. While it took a while to grip me, there were things that kept me intrigued from the very start and that was the characters.
I really liked Mikey as a protagonist. I appreciated that he wasn’t the perfect main character. There are occasions where he messes up and misses something very important happening in his best friend’s life. He also lashes out at the new kid in their group, Nathan, quite a lot. There are times where Mikey isn’t the most likable but in a way that just makes you love him even more overall.
The other character that helped keep my interest throughout was Jared. He is probably my favourite character in the Rest of Us Just Live Here. He was unique, funny, caring, and a really lovable character overall. I enjoyed his backstory, his development throughout, and where we know he’s heading. I could probably read a ton of books with Jared as the focal point.
One thing I really enjoyed about him and Mikey is their friendship. I love how close they are and the way their friendship works. There are just little moments like Jared helping Mikey with his OCD and anxiety, or Mikey being aware of the strange happenings in Jared’s life and just accepting it like it’s no big deal because to him it really isn’t. Mikey also has a really great relationship with his two sisters and it’s these different relationships (plus the individual characters) that helped me to become so invested in continuing this book, even when the story as a whole felt a little lackluster.
Don’t get me wrong, the Rest of Us Just Live Here is by no means a bad book, I actually enjoyed it by the end and was glad I’d picked it up. The writing style is lovely to read, and there were some interesting facts about the world and its inhabitants, as well as some fun little twists along the way. All of that helped me to keep reading this book and have a good time, for the most part. However, all of this is well and good but the plot as a whole kind of lets the side down.
It definitely just didn’t quite live up to what I thought it could be. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a good book but it could have been way better. Perhaps, in a few months or more if I were to re-read it, I might give it a slightly higher rating and appreciate it a little more but for now, it was just a little disappointing considering its potential.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ /5