Ok, so I have only just realised how hard it is to write a review on a totally amazing book without giving away all the best parts!
But what I can tell you about The Girl with all the Gifts is this: it’s truly epic.
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 is a very special girl.
The vague, yet intriguing, summary doesn’t give a whole lot away about what lies in store for you, and I had no prior knowledge as to what genre this book fell into before I began reading. You see, I had not realised that this book is *SPOILER ALERT* – a zombie apocalypse book!
But boy am I glad that I was tricked into thinking that it was anything but a zombie novel, as I never would have guessed! I was probably hoping these ‘gifts’ would mean this book was going to be a gripping thriller. And to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have even contemplated this book if someone told me it was a zombie book; they’re not usually my kind of thing – although I do appreciate a good zombie adaptation movie: I am legend, world war z etc.
Therefore, describing it a zombie book shouldn’t put you off. You see, the opening chapters unfold this riveting, yet terrifying story of a post apocalyptic world outside of the base in which Melanie, the main protagonist, is being housed. Melanie lives in her underground secure cell, as do the other children – who are the test subjects. The children are strapped into their chairs and chained up by the Seargent and his guards, then the children are wheeled to class where they are
taught assessed by the for the purposes of the scientists’ analysis, in the hope of finding a cure.
At the beginning you are not exactly sure how the story is going to play out; it is clear Melanie is special – she is the most intelligent child – and that there is some reasoning behind why herself and the others are being kept in this way. Melanie herself isn’t aware of ‘what’ she is, as of course, being strapped securely into her wheelchair and taken to class along with the other children was just what she knew to be everyday life. However, Melanie starts to reveal, or should I say realise, unsettling facts about the world around her, and she herself.
Following the invasion of the base by the hungries – zombies – Melanie finds herself on the outside of the base and into the unfamiliar outside world which she now has to deal with. Her relationship with Miss Justineau, her teacher, her idol, is at the heart of this gripping tale of a group of individual all trying to cope with this new outside world which has been left in the wake of the zombie outbreak. Carey has wrote the characters so well, and as they go through this journey, you feel their emotions, pains, struggles and hopes as they try and make it to Beacon.
I don’t want to give too much away, although I feel I already have (sorry). So all I will say is that this book takes you on an emotional journey. It’s heartbreaking in parts and it keeps you on edge, desperate to know what’s coming next – you don’t even see it coming. It keeps you guessing to the very end. I highly recommend it.
One line I particularly liked in the book was “you can’t save the people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.” I thought this to be very apt and for some reason it stuck with me – I like when I find that with a book, it’s when I know I really enjoyed it.
Next bookclub book: The Abomination by Jonathan Holt. Available here for 99p in Kindle edition.
*sidenote – apologies for the review going up late, I was in Wales – home to no internet reception, apparently. Hands up who messed up blogger scheduler?
“Guilty as charged!”