The YA genre is full of the chosen ones, the special ones, you know - the teens that have something about them and become embroiled in all these adventures. But what if you weren’t ‘special’, what if you are just one of the average kids just trying to get through school while all these crazy adventures are happening just out of sight? That’s the premise behind Patrick Ness’ latest book.
Mike is just a few weeks away from graduating high school that is if the indie kids don’t blow up the school while saving the world again. Faced with starting a new life Mike will have to sort his old one first, all while the apocalypse may be going on in the background.
Normally the indie kids’ adventures would be the main focus of a novel, but here they are relegated to small parts at the beginning of each chapter while the real world is going on. Mike and his friends are a likeable bunch with relatable problems such as nerves about leaving school, relationship woes and family issues. Instead of feeling like the reader is missing out on a better story, Ness has managed to make Mike and co lives seem more interesting than what’s going on with the indie kids.
What I loved about the book is that it’s about finding the strength to deal with everyday problems. Maybe you’re not personally dealing with the end of the world but sometimes it can feel like it.
Mike, his family and friends all have their own issues that they have to deal with and the latest supernatural problem is just a side note to their problems. I loved Mike’s relationships with the different people in his life and I really cared about him as a character and what would happen to him. It’s also quite funny at times and finds plenty of light-hearted moments between the dramas.
Towards the end, some of the conflict between the characters seems a bit forced and the love interest Henna could be irritating at times. However, this is a book about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and Patrick Ness has crafted a brilliant novel that I hope people take to their hearts.