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 the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing the the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.
In a Nutshell: A typical adventure story follows the lives of the heroes; their struggles, their failure, their victories. Sometimes, we get the point of view of the villains, as well. But we don’t see the world from the point of view of the onlookers, the bystanders, the people in the background. They may not get some action, but they get scared as well. In this story we get a peek of how it is to watch from the sidelines – their own struggles; maybe not as life-threatening as facing zombies, but struggles nonetheless.
Read this if… you would like to explore on mental disorders (OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, etc). Just don’t go expecting magical adventures and fast-paced action. This one’s filled with family drama and teenage problems. If you enjoyed Serpent King, it has a few similar elements with this one (though I probably enjoyed this one more).
This was not what I was expecting when I read the synopsis. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the story. It just doesn’t match what’s in the synopsis. It started a bit slow and boring for me. But the emotional punch towards the end made me latch on to the story and held on until I reach the last page. It did turn a bit too emo for me at some point, though I did try to understand given the circumstances the characters were facing (and also, YA would oftentimes stress on teenage hormones, I’m used to it). I could have done without that angle of stressing that this was about the people on the sideline (the non-indies, as the book refers to them). There’s even a very brief summary on every chapter of what’s going on with the indies – stressing that in this story, the life of the indies take a step back and the focus is on the non-indies instead. It is a good story in itself and it doesn’t need that angle. Stories like these are worth telling – be it as grand as about a battle against zombies or vampires, or as subtle as battling your personal horrors. It’s still a good story to tell.