Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The rest of us just live here/ Patrick Ness/ 317 p.

This YA book isn't much like others I have read.  It is about a group of "normal" teens finishing high school with normal desires like a date, or graduation, or prom.  At the beginning of the chapters is a small update about the "indie" kids who have odd names like Finn and even stranger problems like vampires or blue lights or the gods trying to breakthrough to the Earth.
     Of the normal kids, the book is told from Mikey's point of view.  His family is dysfunctional.  His mom continually runs for political offices and wants the family to appear perfect.  His dad is alcoholic.  His sister is anorexic and nearly died.  Mikey has anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsion.  The youngest sister is actually the most together. (It was not fair or funny to nickname her merde-breath.  If you can't use bad language in English, you shouldn't use it in French.)
     Mikey's best friend is gay.  Now that the author has this mix, he sets out to fill in the story.  Along the way, he deals with many issues that face teens today such as anorexia, death, being gay, as well as kissing and discovering what real love is.  Interesting to note was that he included an entire section of the therapy session with Mikey where the psychologist wants him to take an anti-anxiety medication.  It was like telling the reader that taking medication is not a failure or a disgrace.  Anxiety is a feeing that has grown too large and medicine is there to help make it manageable.  I like this because there are teens out there who could really use this conversation, who are stuck in obsessive loops or feel overpowered.

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