Book Review: The Girl with All the Gifts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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

4/5

This was an incredible book, but I have a feeling this will be a fairly short and vague review, mainly because I want anyone else who goes into this to have very little idea of the plot and concept! That's the author's intention, and any description you see on Goodreads or Amazon is left intentionally vague. I had some idea of the basic premise going in, but I had no clue whatsoever where the story was going or how it would progress.

The original premise, and the one you'll see in blurbs, is that Melanie, a young girl, is the star pupil in a very unique class. Each day she is strapped into a chair, and wheeled at gunpoint into a classroom, where she and the other students are taught lessons by various teachers, her favorite of which is Miss Justineau.

It's a thriller, part psychological, and part dark and gruesome. I had no idea what to expect, or where the book would end, but I wasn't disappointed at all. The characters in this book start out very surface level, but develop incredibly over the course of the book. Though there are only about six characters for most of this book, those that are included are all fully formed, emotionally complex and felt startling real. This is a character and action-heavy novel that delves into the human psyche, the choices we make, and what it means to be fully human.

It's also scientific, haunting and very suspenseful. In the middle portion of the book, I did sometimes get overwhelmed and lost in what seemed like an excess of scientific fact dumping. One main character is a scientist and most of the chapters told from her perspective went way over my head because a lot of the terminology and concepts were incredibly complex. I don't know how much the reader was intended to understand, but I hope the answer is not much. I understood the overall ideas, but the specifics were lost on me and made it harder to read those particular chapters.

And lastly, let me just say....the ending...it's insane. When I first finished it, I couldn't decide if I loved or hated the ending. But after taking a step back and getting some breathing room from the book, I could see how amazing it was. I never saw it coming, but it was expertly done and such a perfect conclusion.

So while I had a few slight issues with this one, I thought that overall it was excellent and a suspenseful masterpiece. It is unlike anything I've ever read or ever will read. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Cover: 3.7/5
Suspense: 4.5/5
Characters: 10/10

Page Count: 460
Bonus: If you read this in the next month or two, you'll be prepared to see the movie adaptation when it comes out in September!

(this photo is from my own Instagram account!)

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