Author: Patrick Ness
My Rating: 4.0
Goodreads Rating: 3.95
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.
I really like the cover for this book, it’s simple but really beautiful. And the bright bold yellow makes it 100x better!
Hmm…is this is what it feels like to be disappointed because it feels weird. Normally I keep my expectations in check when I hear a good book. I don’t watch any reviews on booktube, I skim through book reviews just encase I find out that a jerk character turns out to be good. I want to find out everything via the book. But I don’t know why but, I felt really excited for the book. Really excited and that was just the summary that got me hyped up! But sadly, even though I enjoyed the story it still felt a little hollow.
The number one issue I had with this book- the plot, or lack of a plot really. The plot was not even a existent for the best part of the book. It just followed Mikey’s life with odd bursts of action. I have to say that page 200 mark it picked up considerably.The book was, I was reading it, screaming CONTEMPORARY but it had this flimsy fantasy case which made the plot feel really odd. It didn’t know where it was going or who it was taking with.
But even after saying that, I loved how Ness wove mental illness into his story. It was really refreshing his take on it and it made me build a connection with the characters. I liked how it wasn’t said as well in the plot as well just ‘boom mental illness deal with it’.
The more fantastical parts of the plot were not to my taste really. I mean the world building was really weak anyway, I felt really lost in the world, and it almost felt like it was thrown in there because there need to be more action. What this story would of really benefited from was dual perspectives. One POV Mikey, the other POV a chosen one. This would of really balanced out the contemporary and fantasy genres.
The ending was a little bit too neat for my longing and failed to make a lasting impression on me.
When I opened this book and started reading all I kept on thinking was simple, simple SIMPLE! The random short sentences didn’t do enough to break the barrage of simple sentences for me and though I can admire Ness for his wonderful talent on writing teenagers, this side of the writing was limp.
As the story got on I got used to his writing style and the simplicity of the writing did make my fly through the pages and kept the story light and airy.
One chapter that literally helped bumped this book up half a star was Chapter Sixteen and I won’t say anything else, but that chapter was written really really awesomely.
Oh now the reason why this book was more than a 3.5 stars.
I love Mikey. He is such a blast of fresh angsty air. Myself being a teenager means most of the books I read have teen characters in them. Even though many of the characters have many relatable teenager-y mannerisms and thoughts, Mikey is a living breathing teenager. Down to his understandable mood swings to his feelings on acceptance among his group of friends. This character really carried the book along I feel.
On the other hand, I didn’t feel connected to to Henna at all. I thought she was playing with people’s feelings in the first half of the novel. Also by the end, her character was not really fleshed out a lot and her story was tied up a bit to cleanly.
I liked Mel and Jared. They were likable enough and I enjoyed finding out the little pieces of information about them during the book.
Overall, I feel like the characters in the book were incredibly realistic- well as realistic you can get with kids being murdered around ya.
What I liked:
- The main protagonist (along with most of his friends) were real and a joy to read
- Surprisingly fast paced
- Story line nice and light
- Wonderfully woven mental health sub plots within the context
What I disliked:
- Non existent world building
- Unbalanced genre elements
- Too simplistic writing
Verdict: This book was not what I expected. There I said it. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy Mikey’s story as it was engaging to read and the characters were whole and greatly realistic. Though the over arching plot was lacking and this book didn’t know it wanted to be a solid contemporary half the time, Mickey really brought this book home with his teenage awkwardness making me recommend this to people looking for a nice contemporary.
I’ll write soon!