Book Title/Author: The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Publisher/Year: Published June 19th 2014 by Orbit
Genre: Science Fiction, Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
“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.” (Goodreads)
I am going to try to write this review as spoiler-free as possible. Which is very difficult for this review. That being said, I warn you to not go researching this book too much because then you’ll spoil some of the twists for yourself.
The Girl with All the Gifts tells the story of Melanie, a 10-year young girl, who is trying to understand the truth of her past and her purpose in a ruined world. Society has collapsed and people are suffering from a deadly illness, those who are not infected scramble for a cure before the virus spreads. The healthy think that the cure lies within children who were born during these trying times, kids who are special.
Although Melanie is the main character in this tale, readers get to learn and understand multiple characters’ POV. Each character plays an important role in the story and each is distinct from one another. Have this variety in characters and conflicting views added depth to the story as a whole.
This book will make you think about the (de)humanization of living beings that are not human. The Girl with All the Gifts will make you ponder the rights and wrongs of treating non-human entities as humans, and whether or not separating those different from us hinders or helps the human race.
If you like science fiction, dystopian, post-apocalyptic and have read and enjoyed Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, you’ll likely enjoy this read as well.
“Growing up and growing old. Playing. Exploring. Like Pooh and Piglet. And then like the Famous Five. And then like Heidi and Anne of Green Gables. 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 thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You’ve already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.”
“you can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.”
“The truth is the truth, the only prize worth having. If you deny it, you’re only showing that you’re unworthy of it.”
“When your dreams come true, your true has moved.”