This week Kim reviews M.R.Carey’s The Hungry Plague series which is better known as The Girl with all the Gifts and The Boy on the Bridge. I have yet to read Boy on the Bridge but LOVED The Girl with all the Gifts. I awarded it 5 stars; In fact it made my Top 10 list in 2016. My review for it is here. I personally hope M.R. Carey continues with this series!
Books in the Series:
The Girl with all the Gifts
The Boy on the Bridge
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Review: 4 Stars
Description from 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.
I will admit that this book really surprised me! I listened to it on audiobook and some of it in the dark on my bike while I worked out. Yeah, you definitely shouldn’t read this book in the dark! There are some super creepy parts that had me wishing that I could pedal faster to get away from the story! And I’m not a zombie person at all! I had no idea that’s what “hungries” were until I started describing them to my husband. I told him that they were zombie like creatures who fed on human flesh and had virtually no brain function at all. “Kim, that’s what zombies are!” Oh! Ok, then! This book is my introduction to zombies!!! Yay!!!
Considering the mindlessness of the hungries, this book was a thinker. There were many philosophical predicaments that I had a great time working through along with the characters. Melanie is a character that I had no problem liking. She’s smart and perky and optimistic. From the very beginning, I expected to hate Sergeant Parks . . . but I didn’t. Believe it or not, there was something about him that I really liked and he ended up as one of my very favorite characters! And Miss Justineau was someone I thought I understood but she surprised me several times throughout the story. Honestly, the hungries were the only reason I gave this book 4 stars . . . I really don’t like zombies, they’re scary!! I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good apocalyptic thriller. I bet even teens would enjoy this book.
There is also a movie which Jessica really enjoyed! Yes, there are differences in the film, but M.R. Carey wrote the screenplay and kept the ending faithful to the novel. It is recommended as well. You can buy it on Blu-Ray here:
Kim’s Review: 4 Stars
Description from Goodreads:
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.
I loved reading The Girl with All the Gifts, so picking up this book was a no brainer. I was able to get it from Audible and I was thrilled to find out that the same narrator was reading for both books. One thing that The Boy on the Bridge missed from the very beginning was the emotional connection to the characters. Sure, I liked Dr. Khan and hated Dr. Fornier, just like I was supposed to. I trusted Col. Carlyle and distrusted Lt. McQueen, just like I was supposed to. But it was more like I was being told, through the opinions of the other characters, whether to like or dislike a character. Thankfully, this got better as the book went along. By the time I got to the end of the book, I did feel a connection to several of the characters.
I also didn’t like how Carey almost undid the struggles and the scope of The Girl with All the Gifts in this book. It is a prequel, which is a very important thing to know. I wish I could elaborate more without giving away the story, but I can’t. So y’all will just have to read it! The second half of the book was definitely better than the first. The first was far too technical for me. There was a lot of science mixed with drama, that you would think wouldn’t exist in the face of a zombie apocalypse, and it dragged very slowly. However, the second half redeemed the book! All the emotions and philosophy and ethics were crammed in and I loved it! And I was in TEARS at the end of the book! It had such a beautiful ending! It was the perfect resolution to the “hungry saga.”
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who read The Girl with All the Gifts; I would suggest reading that before starting this book. Saying that, I would recommend the series to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic fiction. I think older teens would really enjoy this series as well.
Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.
What is Standalone Sunday?
Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!
My selection for this week is Christmas related:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The ultimate Dr. Seuss Christmas classic — no holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville!
“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old.
And don’t forget to celebrate Grinch-mas this Christmas season, the annual holiday tradition inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas that encourages readers to grow their hearts three sizes by doing good deeds!
This is a story we all know. We all grew up with the book and or the animated movie. Jim Carrey stars as the Grinch in the live action movie. This is a book all children should read at Christmas! I know I have great memories watching the animated movie.[Top]
Author: E.J. Bennett
Published: December 1, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 19, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Short Story Description:
Bella, an old grumpy woman, finds herself in the past. To a time she was happy and loved. Bella must race against time and her mind to change a devastating event if she wishes to save her future.
A white Christmas wedding and the love of her life. Will Bella be distracted?
Can Bella keep her mind set on the task at hand? Or will she fall back into her old life and old ways?
I am quickly becoming a fan of E.J. Bennett’s short stories. I like that I am able to read these short stories read during my lunch break! Bennett is a talented writer: She is so descriptive in her writing that I feel I am there and can see everything happening as I read the story.
Bella is a grumpy old woman, but rightfully so. She lost the one thing that was important to her. Mysteriously she goes back in time and has an opportunity to change things. Will she accomplish this or not? We see the transformation Bella makes over the course of this short story as she went from the grumpy old woman to a young lady I was rooting for that I was wanting to succeed! This is a short story of 5155 words, so I can’t really say more. Just go get this short story!
Special thanks to E.J. Bennett for sending an arc copy to read and review. I really enjoyed it!
Back to December is available worldwide on all platforms. (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Apple Store, etc). The Amazon links are below:[Top]