Genre: contemporary young adult, lgbt characters
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.
Narrated by James Fouhey, which had a good and fitting voice. It was just good in general.
Rating out of five: four
“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.”
It’s a good read if you don’t go into it expecting a fantasy story. You get a “normal” coming of age story, of a teenage boy Mikey who are worried about what to do after high school, but mostly just trying to survive the year. Aren’t we all? (Like seriously, I have nine long months left). It’s definitely a surreal experience reading Mikey’s description of the special “indie” kids (aka with powers) disappearing and dying in the fight against monsters and green lights. It’s explained by a clear separation between who is a indie kid, one of the heroes of a regular fantasy novel, and who is the cilivians. His town is definitely a warzone. And as a reader you just have to go with it, to not ask too many questions or it will fall apart.
I don’t know what I think about a book where asking to many questions about their situation will dig enough plot holes until it’s mostly holes and not much left to enjoy. I feel like Patrick Ness often seem to keep to the line of “is this real or the main character’s imagination” until about half the book has passed, when action start to set in. Still, I couldn’t stop myself asking questions. Like why don’t they move out of town, if it’s overrun by monsters? Why haven’t they found weapons that work? Lots of these questions aren’t even asked in the book, the reason I suppose is that Mikey isn’t a part of that world. But he is, constantly seeing and choosing to ignore or investigate it. They all are, which makes it interesting.
The balance between having a normal highschool life – being with friends, parties, schoolwork, drama, relationships – and the monsters wrecking shit in town and endagering humans is a really funny and heartwrenching one. It’s a bit too relatable, as while I was reading it dealing with major health concerns that come in like one of those monsters. A lot of this book is about contrast and responsibility. While the basic plot of the friendgroup was enjoyable, with camping and relationship and friend drama, everything else brought added dimension, perspective and funny satire of the stereotypical fantasy hero novel. For example, the “indie” kids have apparantly chosen, maybe just been born for, fighting against the monsters alone. They insist that it’s their job, and the civilians are happy to comply.
Last thing worth mentioning is the vivid descriptions of Mikey’s anxieties and OCD, I haven’t read many books about it, but he describes being trapped in thoughts and actions and it seems very real. It does not help having anxiety that feels like something bad is going to happen soon, when monsters are roaming, but that seems to be the point.
Feelings I had reading this book: trying to survive the schoolyear is relatable af, i also want to go camping with friends (it’s never supposed to go well is it?) … also sometimes monsters has to be talked about and dealt with i guess?