Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with a love triangle
The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness
In the world of YA, in a town that gets attacked by supernatural and/or alien beings every few years, a plucky, resourceful band of teenagers with Destinies must work together to save the world.
This is not their story.
This is the story of the regular kids, who just want to get a date to prom and graduate before the high school gets blown up again.
Each chapter starts with a one-paragraph recap of what's happening with the invasion of something called the Immortals, and the heroic teens (known as the "indie" kids) trying to stop them. The rest of the chapter is about the normie kids, who are dealing with their own trauma from previous invasions (vampires, grief-eating ghosts, and a cat goddess, among others). The two groups don't interact, except in passing.
While the book has a lot of fun with Chosen One tropes (half the "indie" kids are named Finn for some reason), the major characters' trauma and family issues are taken seriously. Mike, the narrator, has severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, and his sister Melinda is recovering from anorexia. Their father is an alcoholic, and their mother is a politician who expects her family to project the right image. It's hinted that the parents have their own trauma from previous invasions. Mike's best friend Jared isn't exactly normie (he's the grandson of the above-mentioned cat goddess, and has magical healing powers), but he has his own issues to figure out about his future.
There are two love triangles in the book. One involves the Chosen One (a girl named Satchel), the Prince of the Immortals, and one of the Finns. In the other, Mike is crushed out on his friend Henna, but she can't keep her eyes off handsome, mysterious new kid Nathan. The resolution to the latter triangle wasn't particularly satisfying to me; it felt like the author wanted to upend our expectations, but a surprise twist still has to feel right for the characters. But the book was original, moving, and very funny.