Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

I love hearing about a book through the grapevine. I love when lots of people that I know from lots of different places like a book that isn't yet mainstream. That is how I found The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. So what were people saying about it that peaked my interest? Not much, actually. I read several things that basically said, "I can't tell you what this book is about, but it is so good." Oh, the intrigue! I don't usually share 'back of the book' summaries, but this time I'll make an exception:

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.

I was pretty sure I knew where this was going, but I wasn't positive and sometimes I really like that. And I wouldn't tell you, either, except that a movie version is being released and you're sure to see the trailer (oh, heck, here you go...) and figure it out anyway, I'll just go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. Melanie is a ten-year-old zombie. And do you want to know the other trick of it? She doesn't know it yet. Melanie lives on a military base approximately twenty years after the Breakdown. She is being taught, but she is also being studied. She loves school, but she especially loves her teacher, Miss Justineau. It is a strange world, but Melanie works hard to understand it.

This book was captivating and thrilling. Last night, I stayed up far too late just to finish it. It is a bit frightening (it's the end of the world as we know it), but also very sad. Melanie and others like her are just children and the way they are treated is heartbreaking. This book explores the idea of a greater good. Is evil okay if it will help everyone else? Does that even qualify as evil?

I loved how this book was written. At one point, the words "tropical brainforest" were used and the literary nerd in me couldn't move on until I had said it aloud several times. I also love how emotional this book is. Nothing is purely evil. Nothing is purely good.

Read this one. I think you'll really like it.

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