Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Title: The Girl With All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Pages: 460

Literary Awards:
Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee for Best Novel (2015)
Audie Award for Paranormal (2015)
British Fantasy Award Nominee for August Derleth Award (2015)
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Horror (2014)
James Hebert Award (2015)

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, SereantParks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She joikes 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. 

My Thoughts: 
Melanie doesn't like her name. She doesn't think it fits her at all. But she does like the name Pandora from the book of myths that Miss Justineau reads to the class. It means 'the girl with all the gifts'. If only she realized how much the name really fit her.

I went into this knowing nothing at all. I didn't read the synopsis which can give you a pretty good hint at what it contains. I didn't read any reviews. I just started reading it. Sometimes that is the best way to go into a book. Especially one like this. For that reason, I'm not going to talk about the things I want to talk about because they might give away a little too much.

I saw someone review this as eerie and creepy but I honestly wouldn't go that far. It isn't creepy. At least not my vision of creepy. There are little horrors so you should probably know that this is not a cutesy little story where no one dies but it's most likely not going to keep you up at night.
It is weird. Strange. Different. It takes a popular horror subject and twists it in a way that I haven't seen before. It's not often that children become the focal point of a story like this. At least not like this.

Am I being vague enough?

The characters are likable. Some are hate-worthy. It's interesting to see the relationship between Melanie and Miss Justineau.

The beginning really drew me in but then it sort of slowed down for me (even though things were actually becoming a little more action filled in the book) and it started to remind me of a lot of other stories like this. But don't let that turn you away because it gets good again.

The ending was surprising in a way. Again, something I haven't seen in a story like this before. But worth it. I've been contemplating that ending for a few days now.

Ok, honestly, I really want to talk about this book with somebody but I don't want to give anything away for those that haven't read it yet. And you should read it; if only because it's being adapted into a film that comes out in a few months (September, I think) and the book is always better. Well, almost always. I'm really looking forward to the visual aspect of the movie though. I want to see if they make the... people... like I envisioned or maybe even creepier than I thought they'd be.