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Description, Categories and Awards



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. "The Girl With All the Gifts" is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.
I read The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey as part of my book club. This is the first book we chose and it was a great choice! Because I read faster (read: I have more time due to my long commute to read) I was given page limits. Page limits suck when the book is good. Eventually I said "screw you page limits" and finished the book within a few days.

Source: Goodreads

The best way I can describe this book is Darwin on crack.
When the book was chosen for book club I skimmed the summary and just jumped right in. Much to my surprise I learned this was a zombie story. Now I'm not really into the whole zombie craze so the minute I realized what I was reading I was concerned, but I kept reading. Basically the whole zombie thing is caused by some sort of infection and there's a lot of "science" behind what's happening. I suppose that would make this a sci-fi novel...

Humanity is explored a lot in the book and at times it was quite heartwarming. One of the main characters in the book, Melanie, is a high functioning zombie child. She basically still has her wits about her and isn't a slave to the infection. This brings about a whole slew of questions around how she is treated by everyone and how she even ended up that way. The story is pretty action packed and fast paced making it an exiting read. The ending was a tad disappointing as it left me with more questions than answers.

If you're into sci-fi and looking for a book that is fast paced, then I suggest reading The Girl With All The Gifts.

argh, another tricky-to-review book.

i think it's safe to discuss the fact that this book is about zombies. that cat is outta that bag. but it's one of those new spins on the zombie-tale, like [b:Raising Stony Mayhall|9466865|Raising Stony Mayhall|Daryl Gregory|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1326125621s/9466865.jpg|14351915] and [b:Zone One|10365343|Zone One|Colson Whitehead|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327888785s/10365343.jpg|15268500] and [b:The Reapers are the Angels|8051458|The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1)|Alden Bell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388716938s/8051458.jpg|12707063], where the focus is not "run away from zombies aaaaaahhhh," but one which comes at the zombie story from a social philosophy angle as the survivors struggle with the responsibility of remaining human and redefining humanity in a world in which they are outnumbered by monsters, here known as "hungries."

which makes it sound SO zzzzzzzzz.

so let me back up because there is PLENTY of action in this puppy. we got guns and zombie kids and mad scientists and marauding gangs and attacks and close calls and a wallop of a reversal in the ending that kicks the predecessors of zombie lit's ****.

and now for some secrets, for those of you who have read the book:

BECAUSE OH MY GOD, HOW AWESOME WAS THAT?? the timing on this book was perfect for me, as i was on a toxoplasma gondii tear after reading this book and this book, and ophiocordyceps unilateralis has pretty much the same horrifying MO. nature is so ****-up, man! this was a very cool twist on the zombie novel, and while i personally loved mira grant's newsflesh series and found it completely medically plausible, this one can totally stand beside that series with its head held high. awesome, terrifying ****.

okay, we're finished in there.

so, yeah - this book is pretty great. it has all the action of a horror novel, but it's definitely a character-driven novel, and it's surprisingly poignant. melanie is such a great character. you really feel for her in her struggles to resist the impulses generated by her hunger:

Melanie is moving forward and pulling backward at the same time. A man with a big dog on a leash and she's both of them, straining against the tether of her own will.

and for her equally powerful hunger for love, acceptance, and understanding. but it's not all hippie **** - she still has these wonderful feral attributes, which combination of qualities i am a sucker for:

my GIRL!

when i was barreling towards the ending of this, i was crossing my mental fingers for a sequel, but when that ending hit, i completely changed my mind, because i think it finished with a perfect emphatic period that would only be diminished by a return to the story.

all told, a great addition to zombie lit, and i am so glad i squeezed it into my giant wobbling "must read this very minute" stack.

I wasn't sure what to expect of the book from the short description, but it sounded intriguing, and it is. The book is well-written and a good read. I'm not much of one for the post-apocalyptical/dystopia genre, so found myself rather out-of-bounds with the story. Still, I can recognize and appreciate the author's talent and unique story-line.

Thanks to the Reading Room and Orbitbooks for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

The Girl with All the Gifts was a fully absorbing and rewarding reading experience for me. Most notably, author M.R. Carey impressed me as a talented storyteller capable of great novelty, as it were, in his fiction. While expertly presenting his unique plot, Carey doesn't fail to maintain the sort of thematic depth and emotional resonance I expect from a well-wrought novel as a successful work of art. I expect most readers would find it to be absorbing and ultimately life-affirming as I did.

While this novel met my high expectations, it did not manage to exceed them. I found the first-person narration by the titular gifted youth to be more distancing psychologically -- it served the plot presentation more than character development. She is really something though, even if she isn't the kind of character I know and like best. Another personal criticism: it's not the most satisfying novel to close-read at the level of word choice, syntax, etc...but very few novels deliver that kind of experience.

In sum: a great, memorable read, but not the best. book. ever...(IMHO). Thanks for reading my thoughts. Please be advised I received a free copy of this book in return for this honest review through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

I listened to this via audible, and it was AWESOME. I really think they chose the perfect narrator for the book, and listening to this child-like english accent added an extra element of creep to it.

Okay, so as to the book itself, what can I say?

Unique. VERY definitely unique. I don't think I'm spoiling anything when I reveal that it is, indeed a zombie book. But its a zombie book in which you actually root for a few of the zombies.

Some of its zombies are also scary. Not scary in the "omg, going to eat my brains" type way, but more of the slow burn of the fear of no longer being the top of the food chain. Of not being able to outsmart your predators.

I LOVED this book, and highly recommend it!


Publishing in 2014, The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey is set to become one of the year's most heart-stopping thrillers.