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The Girl With All the Gifts

Carey, M. R., 1959-

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Girl With All the Gifts
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Not every gift is a blessing. 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. Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, The girl with all the gifts is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
Published: New York, NY :, Orbit,, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 0316278157
9780316278157
Branch Call Number: F CAR
Characteristics: 407 pages ;,22 cm

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Feb 28, 2015
  • SFanGirl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great riff on the zombie genre - convincing science fiction. Appealing characters, and grab you by the throat action and suspense. Likely to win an award or two.

Jan 04, 2015
  • BrigidWilson rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is definitely a plot- and character-driven story. It is intense from the get-go and maintains the tension throughout. With just a handful of main characters, the point of view changes with each chapter. Oh, it's always 3rd person, but each chapter zooms in on one of the main characters. A plague has been unleashed on humanity and the setting is 20 years after said plague started. A lot is know about it--it is mushroom spores and it takes over human bodies, making them crave protein--specifically, human blood and meat (thus they are called "hungries"); however, there's still a lot of unknowns, specifically how to counteract it and why some children can still use large parts of their brains, unlike most of the population who either feed or wait around in stasis until the next food source wanders by.
Of course, military types have created a research lab far outside the main city left in GB (called Beacon) where a pathologically dedicated doctor (Caroline Campbell) studies the pathogen and the children who are different. Well, Melanie (test subject one) is not just able to use a lot of her brain, she's a genius. The few children the army types have been able to bag are all at this research site, being taught by various professors, with a psychologist as primary who also studies the children's learning abilities and social interactions (not that they have much of that).
Things go bad, the main characters have to abandon the research site and head for the big city, but each person has his or her own agenda, and each one changes as they travel--Dr. Campbell, more crazily ambitious to solve the puzzle; Dr. Justineau, more sympathetic and concerned about Melanie's fate; the Sarge, enlightened by life on the road and by Melanie; Private Gallagher, growing more fearful of what will happen when they do reach Beacon; and Melanie, who "builds the world around her as she goes," learning and applying all that she learned at the facility. She makes the big decisions and the final one.

This book goes to my top 5 for 2014.

One of the most original and beautifully written zombie books I've ever read. The diverse character perspectives work to further the reality of this bleak world but Melanie's chapters shine for me. She sees the world through a lens of allegory and fantasy even as she discovers the dark secret about herself.

Oct 12, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Melanie is a very special girl. Her favourite time of day is when she's wheeled out of her cell for lessons and it's Miss Justineau teaching. She's not a fan of the Sergeant, but she mostly sees him rather than hears him. She really doesn't like the doctor and really doesn't like it when her classmates tend to vanish.

From Melanie's point of view, we see a version of the world that the adults are clinging onto. From the adults in the story we see what is really going on and what is really left of that world. That and what makes Melanie and her class so special. You'll figure out what that is in the first ten pages but seeing everyone else tiptoe around it when Melanie is not just your average little girl is almost funny.

It's an interesting story and it's a book you don't want to put down. I don't want to say too much else about it because the less you know the better but if you're still looking for apocalypse literature with a heart, then this book will probably fit the bill just fine.

Oct 11, 2014
  • rhacker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not your average zombie novel. Inventive. Beautifully written and poignant.

Sep 22, 2014
  • KatRPL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

My measure of a good book is if it keeps me up way past my bedtime because I just keep wanting to read one more chapter. This one did that for me, and I finished it in two sittings because I couldn't put it down.

Ok, yes, it's technically a zombie book, but this has way more heart and soul (and a better ending) than just about any I've ever read. If you like your sci-fi more on the human side, but don't want to give up the page-turning thrills, this is a great read!

Aug 16, 2014
  • VirgilCane rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

One of the more palatable in this evolution of the genre whereby zombies can talk. I usually stop reading at that point because I'm a zombie purist. However this tale was different and well enough written that I forged on and I am glad I did.

Aug 04, 2014
  • aliciamarie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Like the previous commenter, this book was not what I was expecting after reading the brief description. But words cannot express how much I loved it anyway. I am glad I was "duped" into reading this book. Not a YA futuristic, post-apocalyptic novel. This one is for adults. It's disturbing and gory at times, yet so interesting and descriptive it sucks you in. I liked the scientific explanations for why things are happening the way they are. Made it more realistic in a way. I couldn't put it down!

Jul 06, 2014
  • gvlee rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Thrilling and fast paced, this is an intense story set in the dystopian future about a special little girl and her caring teacher. The character development is just as riveting as the action. It is both horrifying and touching. Highly recommended.

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Aug 14, 2014
  • black_dolphin_133 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

black_dolphin_133 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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In an age of rust, she comes up stainless steel.

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