These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I came to enjoy the Chaos Walking series much more than I’d anticipated. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that since reading the series I’ve been telling myself to pick up more work by the author. More Than This was at the top of the list, followed closely by The Rest of Us Just Live Here. However, I found the latter going cheap and decided to give it a read first. I’ve also found A Monster Calls going cheap meaning the book I most want to read is looking to be quite far down my list. With a little bit of luck anticipation will leave me loving the book, rather than being disappointed.

Anyway, onto what you care about; my feelings towards The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

I’d been eager for this one, due to the premise sounding wonderful. A book focused upon the everyday folks instead of those saving the world – it had such promise. There were so many things that could have been done, so many scenes that I was hoping for. However, it didn’t give me what I had been expecting. Truthfully, I didn’t enjoy this one anywhere close to as much as I’d been hoping I would. The book became more enjoyable the more I read of it, but it never gave me the real wow read I’d anticipated. Yes, there were fun moments; however, these fun moments were few and far between, these fun moments weren’t all they could have been, and the entire thing could have been so much more.

Obviously, I didn’t hate the book – it earned three stars from me, after all – but it was nowhere near the amazing read it could have been. Patrick Ness has such a large fan base that I expected something more from him. I’m always tentative when it comes to authors with large fan bases, fearful that there is too much hype, but after enjoying the Chaos Walking trilogy, I was willing to believe the hype. It just seemed as though this book was lacking. I plan to go on and read more Patrick Ness books – I already own A Monster Calls, so of course I’m going to read it – I’m simply hoping The Rest of Us Just Live Here was a blip.

Now, allow me to go on and explain why I feel so disappointed by this one.

As soon as I read the premise, my mind started to entertain so many different ideas. I’m sure the same thing happened to many people out there. It’s a book that could have went in so many different directions. Now I’m well aware that books very rarely go in the imagined direction – if they did, reading would be a lot less enjoyable – yet I felt as though this one picked the most basic of routes to follow. It felt like a few scenes picked up from everyday life, detailing mediocre contemporary fiction scenes. The only reason we knew something big was going on is due to the endless references to the Chosen Ones. Every time something happened it seemed as though we were reminded of how normal our main character was. Such a thing grew to be extremely tedious after a short while. I just wanted to shake him and say ‘I get it already; you’re not a special snowflake’.

It wasn’t as though this came about through the events caused by the Chosen Ones. Such things were happening in response to everyday events. Guess what – special snowflakes have everyday drama too, I’m sure. I’d understand the constant references had they been in response to the things going on in relation to the Chosen Ones storyline, but this aspect of the story was merely given the occasional reference. I felt as though the story couldn’t quite decide where it wanted to go: did it want to completely ignore the Chosen Ones aspect or did it wish to interact with it. As it was, the occasional reference to the events yet the constant talk of the Chosen Ones left me annoyed that the story didn’t go entirely in either direction.

All in all, it felt like a rather dull contemporary fiction read with the occasional ‘something more’ thrown in to prevent it from being a simple high school drama story. I just wanted so much more from this one. Towards the end things came close to that more I’d wanted, but by that point it was too late. I was already caught up in my ‘this could have been something else entirely’ bubble, meaning a handful of decent events couldn’t save a book filled with mere ‘meh’ events.

In short, if you’ve yet to read Patrick Ness, I would recommend you start somewhere other than here.

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