The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Solid teen scifi from the author of A Monster Calls, and the chief writer of the Doctor Who spinoff series Class.  The basic premise is that, in this world, there are two types of people, the Indie Kids, who are like the protagonists of teen supernatural TV shows, and the rest of us, who just have to live with the fact that the Apocalypse is always almost happening, somewhere else. The Indie kids are slightly ridiculous in their implacable specialness, and they seem to die a lot. The normal kids just leave them alone to get on with…whatever all of that is…and try not to be the victim of the week.

The book isn’t, really, about living in that kind of world. It’s about having relationships, pining after people and graduating. The way the stories of the normal kids are told is modern and convention aware. Sex and love don’t work out. People are gay, or straight, or straightish and it doesn’t much matter to the universe, except in a personal way. The main character has OCD, which I’ve seen written a lot worse.  The way that story thread ends is debatably unrealistic, but points for trying.  Many authors wouldn’t even go there.

I’m not sure some of the jokes land as teen lit, because it makes references to TV shows all the way back to Buffy, and that was twenty years ago.   The few adult characters who remember that the world is kind of odd were involved with something to do with zombies, back in their day, so it cuts even further back for adult readers, to at least Raimi if not Romero. That aside, though, the author’s point: life is meaningful even if you aren’t the Messiah, is a good one, and an obvious and necessary reaction to the way a lot of fantasy is written.

The Library has it in a heap of formats. I listened to it via BorrowBox download, and the performance was good.