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.
Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
This book is wonderfully bonkers. It follows the lives of Mikey and his gang of friends, their everyday struggles and longings, their high school shenanigans and relationship drama. In other words, it’s a story about teenagers and what teenagers expect to go through. Except for the twist- they are the background characters of a story about the ‘Chosen Ones’, the teens that centre in almost every other YA novel. When I read this book, the first thought I had was “this is genius.”
Each chapter is started by a brief summary of what the Indie kids are up to; you know, the usual protagonists who discover that they are responsible for ending some conflict or other. Rarely do we get to read about the normal teenagers whose schools get destroyed, whose towns are plagued by strange lights and occurrences, who are left behind wondering ‘what the hell is happening now?’ while the Chosen Indie Kids save the world.
The fact that I found myself longing to read more into the Indie kids’ story is a testament to the commonness of the genre- we are just so used to following protagonists (with names like Finn and Satchel) whilst completely forgetting about how the events affect the kids who just want to graduate and move on with their lives. I’ve read complaints about the story being mundane, while the Indie kid plotline being so much more interesting, but that is exactly the point. And I applaud Patrick Ness for taking this direction. Normal teens have issues. Normal teens worry about the future, about boyfriends or girlfriends, about their sexual feelings. Not everyone can suddenly find themselves fighting the head Queen of X while protecting the throne of Y, all while slowly falling for Prince Z even though best friend Indie kid (Finn) has always loved them.
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.
I couldn’t have put it better myself. So, if you’re not interested in the side characters, in the ones who watch the Indie kids run around town and burn down buildings in order to stop invasions and/or world domination involving magic amulets of some kind, then this book is not for you. I gave this book five stars, because it was a hilarious adventure of the ‘Other Teenagers’, and quite frankly it was a refreshing take on the ‘Chosen One’ genre.
Read it with an open mind, my lovelies. I was pleasantly surprised. Now, take it away, gif-man: