I received this book for free from Orbit in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit on January 14th 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
Buy on Amazon
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.
*slow clap* I don’t even know where to begin reviewing this book. It was a book that I didn’t plan to read, I heard from my co-blogger it was a split POV story told in the third person and I thought “Rubbish! I don’t want that in my life.” Then a little birdie came along, one by the name of Christina of A Reader of Fictions and she said “Look, you need this book in your life. Total Jenni bait.” So I gave it a go and wow. I’m at a loss for words (which, if you know me, NEVER happens) because this book was just… everything.
We are introduced to the world through the eyes of a little girl named Melanie who spends her time in a cell and is only brought out to shower in weird chemicals and to go to her lessons. When she is removed from her cell she is strapped to a chair in a process that she knows like clockwork. This process involves one guard doing the strapping while another holds his pistol point blank on her head. What was so striking to me right off the bat was how beautiful I found Melanie’s character. It’s easy to tell early on that she is infected with the pathogen that caused the “Breakdown” that ended the world as humans know it and I still empathized with her so strongly. Her character is full of wonderment and she’s incredibly intelligent. I found myself rooting for her and hating anyone who was mean to her. This of course leads to a very interesting story in which we find out how these kids on this base are able to still have human-like brainwaves and emotions just as strong as yours or mine.
This ability makes for a zombie read unlike any you have ever read. Not only does it feature fantastic characters but it also is so well thought out. The cause of the Breakdown and what’s happening inside these “hungries” is utterly fascinating. I loved the thought that went into it and the author’s ability to make me feel as if I understood the scientific jargon that he threw at me. Sometimes I find with novels like this that the explanations go over my head and I have to fight through the words to find out what is really going on but that was so not the case here. I can’t stress enough that the research and effort that went into making this novel readable for anyone was amazing. The world that M.R. Carey creates is frighteningly real and the novel sucks you into this scary world and just doesn’t let you go.
What’s always the best about post apocalyptic novels like this is the way they make you feel for the characters and suck you into the bonds that are created. Not only did I come to love Melanie, as mentioned above, but I also came to love and hate everyone around her. She has an intense bond with one of her teachers, Miss. Justineau, and it was fascinating to see the layers of emotion that went back and forth between these two from both of their perspectives. I was so invested in these two being together that it’s no surprise I was quick to get my hate on for anyone trying to keep them apart. These characters came in the form of Dr. Caldwell and Sergeant Parks. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of these two I was able to come to understand them which just served to get me even more invested in the story. The character development here is really out of this world just like the world building.
Filled with raw emotion and taking place in one of the most frightening settings I have read, The Girl with All The Gifts is not one to be missed. Everything is conveyed so well and with a book like this that means the gore as well. The tense scenes are written expertly and they had me holding my breath just as the gore has me cringing and gripping my Kindle. I highly recommend this book and will be shoving it in the face of even random passersby in the future.
5 Hot Espressos
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Nick @ Nick's Book Blog
Wow! I saw this book around, but I can’t say I was interested in it in any way, Jenni. Looks like you just changed that.
I love the sound of the writing and it seems that the author is good with characterizations if you loved Melanie and were able to hate and love everyone around her. The world sounds pretty amazing too. I have to check this one out.
Lovely review, Jenni! 🙂
Kristen @My Friends Are Fiction
I need this book in my life! I have heard so many great things about it and your review confirms it. So happy you loved it too.
Lisa @ TenaciousReader
LOVED this one!! Melanie was just so lovable and her relationship with the adults in her life was quite fascinating. Glad to see you felt this same.
Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy
Totally agree with you, Jenni! I just reviewed this recently too and it was AMAZING. A completely character driven story where the zombie and horror aspects were almost secondary to the characters and their relationships. This will most likely make my top ten this year:-)
Omigosh! You guys! I gotta be honest… this does not sound interesting to me. I’m not a huge zombie fan but I have to say, Jenni, your review makes me want to read it! You’ve got me wanting to fall in love with this little girl and find out for myself what’s going on. Everyone is giving this book huge praise.
Okay… I’ll go download it.
I have been dying to read this book and I had no idea it was about and would never of guessed a zombie book. I am getting my hands on it ASAP.
I completely agree. The scientific jargon was INTENSE but I completely understood it for the most part and didn’t make me feel like a complete moron. Which is always nice. I love zombie fiction and Feed has been my all-time favorite in that genre but this book may have taken the cake. Fantastic book, so glad you agree!
Lisa @ Lost in Literature
Wow! Gotta love our bloggy friends pushing us to read things we didn’t plan on reading. That’s often how we find the best reads! I’m so half this one turned out to be a home run for you! 🙂
Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant
I don’t typically read post-apocalyptic novels, but I admit, this sounds really intriguing. (And it’s so obvious that you really loved it!) I usually have a problem remembering and understanding all the scientific terms, so you mentioning that the author mentions and explains them in way that can be easily understood is a plus for me. And it looks like the author was meticulous in the world-building, so that’s definitely another plus! Also, character-driven as well as books that focus on relationships are always favorites of mine, so I’m looking forward to reading about Melanie’s bond with her teacher and those with around her. All in all, this sounds like a great book!
Great review as always, Jenni! 🙂
Alex from Electrifying Reviews
I hadn’t heard about this book before this review, but you’ve definitely made me interested! I have not read many zombie books, but it seems like this may be the next one I pick up. Thanks for the review!
I love the sound of this, will definitely have to get my hands on a copy soon. Thanks fro the review!
Maddy @ Symphony of Words
My goodness. I honestly didn’t plan on reading this book either! I don’t even know why, it just never interested me. But after reading that powerful and riveting review, Jenni, I promise you, I’m going to give this a try, because it sounds like a beautiful read with a lot of feels. Can’t wait, and thank you for that stunning review again! 🙂
Giselle, you can’t even imagine how happy I am that you loved this book. I have been wanting to read it SO badly, but of course, my TBR pile is currently taking over my life, and I need to hold this one back for a while, just a teensy little while. It’s so cool how it’s post-apocalyptic and it’s gory! I have been waiting for a good gory read for a while because a lot of them can be really cheesy. And zombies? Count me in.
Awesome review as always!
Jenni, I looked at the rating then came down here! I have this on my Kindle after I read Let’s Get Lost, so I am trying to make it as spoiler free as possible, but i hope to come back soon to read this review!
Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books
This doesn’t sound like my typical type of book, to be quite honest, but the more I hear about it, the more anxious I am to read it myself. This sounds like a super thought-provoking and intelligent read. Definitely on my radar. Thanks for the helpful, enthusiastic review!
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
Ermahgerd it’s a book with my name in it! AND A GOOD BOOK. Oh yes, what a bonus. I am definitely going to read this one, because it just sounds so brilliant–and 5 stars! Wowza.
Brilliant review, Jenni! <33
Wow. You’ve convinced me. Excellent review of a book I had not seen before….I’m off to go find it….
Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot
How have I not heard of this book? This sounds delightfully creepy and just like my kind of book! It reminds me of The Passage and The Stand, which is a good thing in my book. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, and I just requested it from the library. Lovely review! Thanks for putting it on my radar! 😀
This book was amazing! I was interested it, because of my name and then I was blown away by it. The characters are interesting and I loved reading about Melanie and how she looked at things. The concept of the fungus and how it spread – and what it does to the human body was fascinating. I like how the ending was satisfying, yet open to make you think about it yourself. This book made zombies unique again.
Wendy from The Midnight Garden reviewed this one and highly recommended it, so I preordered it and it arrived just yesterday, so after reading your review… I know I need to spend one of my days off next week reading it, if I can wait that long!
Fantastic review Jenni!