Author: Patrick Ness
Blurb: (from Goodreads) What if you aren’t the Chosen One?
The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.
*I received a copy of this book for free from the Waterstones read and review program*
"Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway."
Going into this all I knew was that it concerned the kids in the background. The ones who don't have to save the world or defeat evil. And whilst that did intrigue me it didn't send me running to the nearest copy. It should have done.
At the beginning of each chapter there is a small paragraph detailing what is going on with the "indie kids" who are in fact fighting evil and attempting to save the world. The references to the indie kids reminded me of so many, many other teen books I have read and it made me laugh a lot. This book was very genuinely funny and I did laugh out loud quite a bit, but it also surprised me quite a lot with its serious elements.
I did a post last week about books with mental health and I really wish I had read this sooner because it would definitely have made the list. The way in which mental health is dealt with in this book was so realistic and well done. There was a conversation between the main character and his therapist that reminded me almost word for word of ones I have had in the past. Which really made the characters, particularly Mikey, feel more real to me.
I really loved that whilst there was magical, possibly apocalyptical stuff going on in the background the main focus of the book was the general everyday life of the main characters. Whilst poor Satchel (that's the indie kid's name by the way) dealt with a love square and Immortals in the background, the main character was dealing with a crush on his friend, and the recurrence of his OCD and prom. There were some overlaps, times where the apocalypse and supernatural happenings touched the lives of the main characters but they never really got involved. And yet their everyday (if you can call some of what happened to them "everyday") lives never bored me. I stayed up all night reading this book because I kept telling myself "just one more chapter" which of course is a slippery road.
I didn't always love the way the characters behaved. Mikey was quite rude to the new boy and although I kind of understood where he was coming from, by the end of the book I agreed with his friends - it was getting annoying. I liked the ending but I am so curious as to what happens next! As far as I know this is a stand-alone so it doesn't look like I will find out what happens to the characters in the future (please correct me if I'm wrong - I would love to be). But I hope it's all good.
This is only the second Patrick Ness book I've read and whilst I liked The Knife of Never Letting Go I have to say I think this book is better. I am now starting to get why everybody loves his writing and his books so much and I am definitely excited to read more by him.