As a huge fan of YA literature, especially the fantasy-end of YA literature, I was very excited to read this book. The whole premise of focusing on the kids adjacent to the story, rather than the chosen ones (the “indie kids” in this novel), is so intriguing. And I had heard many wonderful things about Patrick Ness, so I was just all around excited to finally read this book.
Because of the premise of the novel, the plot was not going to be fast-paced. The typical fantasy-novel-chosen-ones plot occurred in the chapter titles, while the real story was about how these four regular friends try to just graduate high school while inexplicable things are happening around them. And I fell in love with these friends. While the premise may be silly, the things that these characters were struggling with were very real. One character was struggling with obssessive compulsion, and another was recovering from an eating disorder. This very real look at mental illness amidst a “bigger” story was very pertinent to me. By making these people the focus of his story, Ness is saying that everybody’s story is worth telling, and is exciting to tell. Just because aliens aren’t invading and snatching the bodies of your friends does not mean that your story is unimportant. The everyday struggle of living and coping is enough.