The Girl with all the Gifts
By M.R. Carey
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.
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The Girl with all the Gifts was a unique and somewhat terrifying novel. It’s hard to really explain how and why without throwing out a few spoilers. Although the world was unveiled rather quickly and it didn’t take long for the reader to get a full grasp on what was happening and who Melanie was, I still feel like the story is best read without knowing too much about it.
In many ways, The Girl with all the Gifts is like Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Something strange was happening, the POV was from a child in the school, and they didn’t know a whole lot about their world. I think this is the best comparison because it hints that things aren’t what they seem, that the book may fall into a sci-fi spectrum, but it’s kind of subtle and not quite expected. Still, it pains me a little to compare the two because, though TGWATG was good, it will never be as good as Never Let Me Go.
I think we can all agree that some genres are beat to death and overdone. Still, there is always room for stories to be told within a genre that gives it a fresh perspective. TGWATG is not the first book to give us a unique perspective in an otherwise run-of-the-mill genre fiction, but it does it well. I felt for Melanie and wanted to see how it would all unfold. The way it unfolded honestly surprised me and I think it was worth the read. I enjoyed the adventure. It was a unique book that I feel gave me something new in an otherwise overdone genre, but it’s still just a [insert spoiler-y genre name] book when it’s all said and done and I am always 100% disappointed when I realize that’s the kind of book I’m reading.
It was well done, though, which is why I’m still giving it 4 stars.