Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Publisher: Orbit Books, Hachette Group
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 7/2/14 to 7/9/14
416 Pages
Rating: 

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 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.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Please keep in mind that this is published by the Hachette Group, so buying this book from Amazon may lead to actual list price and delayed shipping.

This was given to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks NetGalley and Orbit!

Attention: This is not your average zombie book, or your average horror book.

In this action-packed, survival novel, zombies, otherwise known as the "hungries" roam the Earth. And in order to research a cure, a team of surviving humans build up a base, where they capture infected children to experiment on them. What makes these children so special, compared to the other adult hungries? They're smart, and they can learn and talk. As long as they're sprayed with chemicals, they won't bite.


Melanie is test number 1, and she attends class with the other children when they're not in their cells. She's the smartest kid in class. Her favorite teacher is Miss Justineau, who loves to read stories about the Amazon and Greek Mythology to the children. Along with teaching them everything that happened before, before the Breakdown.

Now, don't start thinking that this will be another boring novel, where everyone is safe in the base. No that doesn't happen. Right before the crazy scientist lady cuts open Melanie's head, everything turns to..uh...chaos. Hungries have gotten into the base, and are wreaking havoc everywhere. The only escapees are two soldiers, Miss Justineau, the scientist lady, otherwise known as Dr. Caldwell, and lastly, Melanie herself.

The character development is absolutely freaking fantastic. Melanie literally goes through an existential crisis. First, she has to come to terms with herself. Then, she needs to make amends with everyone else, while protecting her teacher. And then, there's the whole unexplored world itself, even if it is reduced to nothing. Throughout the novel, Melanie, a naive innocent girl, changes drastically. And not just her, but the others as well, which is why the multiple POVs work so well in this case. However, I ended up liking Melanie's POV more compared to the Sergeant Parks, Miss Justineau, and Dr. Caldwell. But they still play such an important role for the plot.

Yeah! That's right! You go zombie!
And no, this isn't like Warm Bodies (though I only watched the movie). There is actual science behind the rise of the hungries. So no they don't just pop out of graves or out of nowhere.

And as Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia commented on, the blurb makes this sound like Melanie's POV in first person, like in the novel Room. But this is not the case. Instead, it's all told in third person, but even in this form, you can still see the change in Melanie's thoughts over the course of the book. For me, this is what made the novel so good.

The only thing I did not exactly like, was the ending. IT NEEDS DISCUSSION! (highlight to read at your own risk)
OK MELANIE, JUST INFECT THE REST OF THE WORLD WHY DON'T YOU. Have you actually thought about Miss Justineau? I know you think this is the only way, and it might be, but you know your teacher can't survive with all those infectious spores! Sure, she has a suit, and then you gave her another dozen infected children to teach. But, ugh I just don't know. I guess I can see how this all works out, but it's just so open ended. It's just like The Last of Us all over again. (end spoiler!)

This combination of the Walking Dead and The Last of us is good. Real good. If you ever see it in a bookstore, library, or online, be sure to pick it up. You definitely won't regret it!

And it's not scary guys, I promise.

4 comments:

  1. WHAT. This is about zombies???!! I DID NOT KNOW THAT. Now I need it asap, because: zombies. (Also: I am absolutely loving that Wreck-It Ralph zombie quote. Hehe. That movie is way too much sass and awesome.) I'm kind of disappointed it's not in 1st person. That's my favourite. Although, I get it why 3rd would maybe allow you to see more?

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    1. I KNOW ZOMBIES! And I'm not sure why it isn't in 1st person. But I think it would works fine either way. But then again the multiple POVs with 1st person would confuse a lot of people.

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  3. OMG I JUST SAW THAT YOU REVIEWED THIS! hahaha And I said in an StS that I hope you loved it, and look! You DID love it, and I am so happy to see that. It's a very unique zombie book isn't it? I totally got the Last Of Us feels from it (ugh makes me wanna watch people play that again haha). I'm so happy you loved it, Val <3

    Faye at The Social Potato

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