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.
WOW. DOUBLE WOW!
This book was so incredibly good! And creepy. And twisted. I’m in book coma. I feel like Homer Simpson going, “Aaaargh….”
Okay, let me rewind a bit and start from the beginning. I picked up this book because it was a monthly read for a Goodreads group. I may have picked it up on my own eventually, but it was not high on my list. I did vote for it because of all the options, it sounded the best and I had already designated it as ‘to read.’
Here’s my dilemma- I can’t tell you what kind of book it is without a big, fat spoiler. You don’t get far into the book before you find out what the spoiler is, or have suspicions at least, but it was still fun to find out on my own.
That is the first thing that truly impressed me- the writing. Right away, I had my suspicions as to what was going on and although I ended up being correct, I did remain skeptical because the clues begin small and eventually build up. I know others will disagree, but in my opinion, the author did a great job of gradually presenting the scenario, which works perfectly because that is how the main character discovers the truth.
Which brings me to quotes. There are some fabulous quotes in this novel and I really want to share some with you. Unfortunately, now that I know what the book is about, I wonder if some of these quotes are intentional foreshadowing and because you are smarter than I am, you will figure it out from just one quote. So I’ll use this one. I don’t think it gives anything away and it is one of my favorites:
And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both.
But you have to open it to find that out.
I found Girl to be an intelligent read.
You’ll also find some dry humor here and there:
Justineau is up again in an instant, not looking back. Lot’s wife should have had that kind of focus.
Then there is the creep factor, which is a huge plus in my book. It is always present but when I got to the last few pages of the book… Whoa Nellie. Let’s just say I will be thinking about the ending for a long time.
Do you ever think about novels and wonder how authors are capable of finding something unique, especially in a specific genre? I think this genre suffers from that; a lot of the books have the same basic premise and even a lot of the details are the same. In fact, there are parts that I particularly enjoyed because they reminded me of similar situations in other books. But Carey has hit on something here. He takes his story one step further. I do read a lot in this particular genre and so far, I have not read anything that takes this story to where Carey does.
One last note before ending… You may have noticed that I designated the reading level as easy/intermediate. It’s mostly easy reading but there are a few parts that are a little technical/scientific. I have no idea how accurate they are because I am neither of those.
I know I sound a bit cryptic, but with good reason. If there are topics that are absolute deal breakers for you, maybe you should go to Goodreads and check out the classifications for this book and maybe check it out from the library rather than purchase it. It is pricey. On the other hand, if you are an adventurous soul who is comfortable possibly reading outside your comfort zone, give it a try. While it didn’t topple any of the books from my top ten list, The Girl With All the Gifts was outstanding and I will definitely order a hardcover copy, which the highest compliment I give novels.
Reviewed by Christina
January 11, 2015