Monday, December 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl with all the Gifts

This is a book review for The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. Melanie is a very special little girl. Dr Caldwell refers to her as a genius. She is also referred to as subject one. Every morning, Melanie (along with the other students) waits in her little cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant points a gun at her while two others strap her down in a wheelchair. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie can't remember any of her life so she isn't sure why she is there. What she does know is that she loves her teacher, Miss Justineau and would do anything to make her happy.

I don't think there are enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this story, especially the story of the relationship between Melanie and her teacher. It is obvious that Melanie was searching for a mother. Melanie doesn't understand who she is and because of that, she doesn't understand why Sergeant and the others treat her like she is evil. Miss Justineau is the only one who treats her with any kindness or treats her like a human being, instead of just a test subject. When Miss Justineau breaks the rules and touches Melanie, I teared up a bit.

It takes a while for the author to reveal why the students are being taught in the classroom and what the goal is supposed to be. There was a "Breakdown," which caused an infection. This infection, transmitted by blood and saliva, turned people into what they call "Hungries." Hungries have no control and no thought and essentially eat other people and animals. It becomes apparent that Melanie is one of these Hungries. The reason why her and the other students are in the class is for science; they show a lot more intelligence than the other Hungries and Dr. Caldwell wants to know why.

About a quarter through the book, the Hungries that live outside the compound manage to storm the gates and take over. Miss Justineau, Sergeant, Gallagher, Melanie and Dr. Caldwell escape and try to avoid being killed by the Hungries while making their way to a nearby city of Beacon, where they hope to find other survivors of the "breakdown." It is hard to tell much more about the plot without giving away spoilers. I will say that I loved that Melanie began showing more and more humanity and she started proving to Sergeant that she wasn't a monster. This book was so fast paced and I was on the edge of my seat for most of it, especially when they were running from the Hungries on multiple occasions. Melanie also makes a decision at the end of the book that I am still not sure I am on board with. I think I understand why she did it, but it was still so sad and heartbreaking.

Here is one quote from the book:

"And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what's inside is good or bad. Because it's both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out." 

The one thing I didn't like about the book was there was too much scientific detail at times. It made my eyes glaze over and I kind of skimmed over those parts. It was just too technical. Maybe it was because of this that I never grasped fully what caused the breakdown and the infection.

This was still a suspenseful and emotionally gripping book. It was a great twist to the usual zombie, post apocalyptic novel with a great twist at the end! I give it a 4/5.


  1. It sounds like this is a very well-written novel, but I would never read it, as I'm much too squeamish! Lol. So I'm glad to read your thoughts on it, because I will definitely avoid this book!

    Thanks for the GREAT review!! : )

    1. Haha, Maria. It isn't actually THAT bad in terms of graphic stuff, but I could see why someone who is squeamish might not want to read it.