The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a story about Michael, his sister Mel, and their two friends Henna and Jared. Mikey just wants to graduate from high school and get out of his small town. His OCD is escalating, his sister is recovering from an eating disorder, his mother is focused on her career, and his dad is a drunk. Not to mention, he’s in love with his friend Henna.
But their town is not normal. Every couple of years, vampires will attack, zombies will invade, and a bunch of kids will die. Mikey and his friends know it’s not normal, but they just have to get through high school.
Every chapter begins with a short intro that describes what is going on with the Chosen Ones, or “indie kids” as they are known to everyone else. This book pokes fun at the Chosen One/secret identity trope and I thought it was hilarious the way all the characters knew about the indie kids and how they were always the ones to die. Everyone in town knows the indie kids are connected to all the strange events.
This book is not action packed, but I really liked how the relationships were depicted. Mikey and Mel have a great sibling relationship and look out for each other and their younger sister. Jared is just about the best friend someone could have – he’s always there for Mikey and helps him deal with his OCD and anxiety.
This was a quick read; I read it in one sitting. I thought the characters were realistic and well-developed. Although the plot is fairly straight-forward, the book does a good job of highlighting every day, ordinary struggles that teenagers face while showing how everyone is special in their own way.