Rest of Us Just Live Here
by Ness, Patrick

The best friend of a kid with superhuman qualities endeavors to have a life of his own that is both normal and extraordinary in the face of constant world-shaking challenges, threats against his school, and an elusive pretty girl.

*Starred Review* Mikey and his pals are about to graduate high school, right as the indie kids-"that group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes"-start disappearing. It's not the first time this has happened: over his 18 years, Mikey's watched as the indie kids (they're always the Chosen Ones) battled the undead, defeated vampire suitors, and engaged in other world-saving activities. It's run-of-the-mill stuff at his high school, which has been blown up more than once. But right now, Mikey, perfectly normal, not-superpowered Mikey, has more pressing, if prosaic, things to worry about in the little time he has left before college-namely, getting cozy with beautiful Henna, connecting with his sister, dealing with his paralyzing anxiety, and hanging with his best friend, who happens to be a God of Cats. Best-selling Ness has crafted a polished, lifelike world where the mundane moments are just as captivating as the extraordinary. Mikey and his friends are flawed, funny, and deeply human, yet the challenges they face-mental illness, family trouble, jealousies, etc.-are just as meaningful as the apocalypse-prevention the indie kids get up to. Ness' deadpan sci-fi novel pokes fun at far-fetched futuristic fantasies while emphasizing the important victories of merely living. This memorable, moving, and often hilarious read is sure to be a hit. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: You don't have to have superpowers to recognize Ness' cachet in the YA scene. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

It's not easy being normal when the Chosen One goes to your high school. High school senior Mikey Mitchell knows that he's not one of the "indie kids" in his small Washington town. While they "end up being the Chosen One when the vampires come calling or when the Alien Queen needs the Source of All Light or something," Mikey simply wants to graduate, enjoy his friendships, and maybe, just maybe, kiss his longtime crush. All that's easier said than done, however, thanks to his struggles with anxiety, his dreadful parents, and the latest group of indie kids discovering their "capital-D Destinies." By beginning each chapter with an arch summary of the indie kids' adventures before returning to Mikey's wry first-person narration, Ness offers a hilarious—and perceptive—commentary on the chosen-one stories that are currently so popular in teen fiction. The diverse cast of characters is multidimensional and memorable, and the depiction of teen sexuality is refreshingly m atter-of-fact. Magical pillars of light and zombie deer may occasionally drive the action here, but ultimately this novel celebrates the everyday heroism of teens doing the hard work of growing up. Fresh, funny, and full of heart: not to be missed. (Fantasy. 13 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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