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 pointed at her while two of his people strap her into her 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 of 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.
Melanie has the mind of a normal girl. She is inquisitive and smart. She enjoys being around other kids her age and she loves school. But Melanie is anything but normal, although she is not aware of it.
Her life is very regimented, not by choice, but by design. This is how it has always been, so she doesn't know the difference. She knows what to expect on what days. She deals with discomfort and accepts the reality of what is.
Like every child, she has plenty of questions about the way that things are, but she is mindful of what she says and to whom. Her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau, gives her a glimpse of the outside world, and Melanie cannot wait to experience it for herself. But for some reason, unbeknownst to Melanie, this saddens Miss Justineau. It won't be long before Melanie discovers why.
The Girl with All The Gifts is nothing short of phenomenal. I saw this book on the shelf at my local Target, but rather than buying it I did what I often do... I borrowed it from the library.
I was not at all familiar with M.R. Carey before reading this book, but I do believe I found another favorite author! The story is constructed very well. It builds slowly, but interestingly. I liked Melanie immediately! I loved her mind, the way she moved through her world, and her level of awareness.
This was one of those books that I simply could not put down, because I had to know what was going to happen. There are not very many characters in the book, but they are all layered and complex. Their personal histories inform their decisions and interactions, you either love them or not, but even more than that you understand them.
This novel is thought provoking and superbly written. A definite MUST read. If you enjoy your dystopia with main course of human experience... put this book on your TBR pronto!
I give this book:
The film adaptation of this novel is currently in post-production. I have not yet decided how I feel about that... but I'm definitely curious.
This is not a paid post. I borrowed this book from my local library for my reading pleasure. The views expressed are my honest opinions.