The Girl with all the Gifts

Author: M.R. Carey
Published: June 10, 2014
Dates Read: November 23- December 10, 2016

My Rating: 5 Stars

Book Summary 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.

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

My Review:

My husband and I saw the movie trailer for The Girl with all the Gifts and after watching it we both want to see the movie and I also wanted to read the book. I was able to get the audiobook from my local library. If you have not seen the trailer for the movie or know anything about The Girl with all the Gifts then this will be a spoiler for you: This is a zombie book. Like Raising Stony Mayhall, The Girl with all the Gifts is a different take on zombies. I read that book several years ago and loved it. I also enjoyed The Girl with all the Gifts.

This is a tough book to review without revealing spoilers. It is also a thought provoking and character driven book. The premise of the book is intriguing and the first act of the book is brilliant. Melanie and her classmates are in school, but they are not just children. They are zombies, or ‘hungries’ as they are called in the post-apocalyptic United Kingdom. But they are also all special: for some reason they still have their mental abilities and have some control of themselves unless they get too close to ‘normal’ humans. Then they revert back to no mental awareness and only focus on one thing: Hunger.

The military base they are all on is attacked by hungries and junkers( uninfected humans who are scavengers and very dangerous). From here Melanie, her teacher, a scientist, and two military personnel end up traveling together as a group. The book does slow some, but we get points of view from all the characters involved in the book. There is zombie violence throughout the book.

I did listen to this in audiobook format and the narrator had a British accent, which works well, since the book takes place in the UK. At times I did have to move the CD track back some to listen again because I know I missed something. I will plan to read this book at some point.

You can’t help but get attached to Melanie. I had no idea what was going to happen to our group. Will they survive or will they all fall victim in some way? A particular character makes a decision that leads to a shocking ending, and this causes the reader to reflect on the entire book.

I give The Girl with all the Gifts 5 stars. I also look forward to seeing the movie. Knowing that M.R. Carey wrote the screenplay and kept the ending faithful to the book is even more exciting.

The Girl with all the Gifts is recommended.