The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

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The Girl With All the Gifts: Summary by Goodreads

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

My Review:

To be honest, I went into this book without even knowing what it was about. I saw it on Barnes and Noble’s sale section and picked it up for a quick read without even reading the description. Judging by the title, I thought that it was going to be a simple, light, contemporary book. However, as I actually got deeper into it, I realized it was a zombie book. And I don’t do zombie books. But, this book is an exception. The reason I don’t do zombie books is that I already have an idea (whether it be true or false) that all there is to the book is action and gore. However, Carey surprisingly wove in all the thoughfulness of human nature  with the seat-hanging action of a sci-fi novel extremely well. I was very surprised, actually, that she managed to pull that off.

Although I may not love zombie books, the characters in this book kept me reading far past midnight. Melanie, the main character, is a special type of “zombie”(called “hungries” in the book) because she can think like any human can, and maybe even better, while the rest of the hungry population are brain dead. Melanie’s charater and her complete love for Ms. Justineau, her teacher, is what really kept my eyes on the book for hours at a time. This type of love was a love I’ve never read about. Although I’ve read about romance, paternal love, and so forth, I’ve never read a book in which a love like Melanie’s existed. Her love was like the love a child has for his/her mother: unfailing and undoubting, except that Melanie did not rely on Ms. Justineau because she was helpless; she trusted and chose to love Ms. J even after realizing that she was going to be put in serious danger. Melanie, the main character, is young, but she speaks in a clear cut way that felt refreshing. Basically, the book did not have any frustrating “beating around the bush” conflicts that involved the characters from having any communication problems with each other. The conflicts were actually all related to survival, and that is what makes this story so attractive: the fact that all the characters are on high-stress-mode lead to the fact that none of them have the time to dilly dally with useless fights. Instead, they speak their human desires and greeds out loud. The descriptive writing is very crisp and minimal, but it is definitely not lacking. I had a clear picture in my head for every page. All in all, I would give this book a 3.5/5👍. It was a fun story, but I didn’t gravitate towards it as much. However, the philosophical messages concerning human nature within the story are extraordinary considering that they are coming from a zombie-infected world. All in all, I would recommend to those who enjoy both a thoughtful and adventurous read.

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