The Girl with All the Gifts
By: M.R. Carey
# of pages: 412 (Kindle edition)
Challenges: What’s in a Name
Quote: “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.”
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.
My review: I’m glad I stumbled onto this book. It’s about Melanie, a young girl growing up in a strange institution. She’s incredibly smart and observant and absolutely loves her teacher, Miss Justineau. Suddenly her world falls apart and she clings to Miss Justineau, trying to make sense of what’s happening. But Miss Justineau finds the situation just as confusing as Melanie. They struggle to survive in the midst of danger that affects more than just the two of them, it affects the entire human race.
I enjoyed the relationships between the characters and also the observations each of them throughout the book. After reading this, I feel that the author must be similar to the character Melanie. Observant and thoughtful.
Apparently this is the first in a series, but I was fine with quitting after this book. The novel isn’t anything super mind blowing or even terribly original, but it’s an easy read that isn’t mindless. I recommend it to all sci-fi fans.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Thoughtful writing, interesting characters, neat plot.