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

December 16, 2014 5 stars, Book Review 30 ★★★★★

Review: The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. CareyThe Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit Books on June 19, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Horror
Pages: 403
Length: 13 hours, 4 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

*This book was provided by the Purchased for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Not every gift is a blessing...

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.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

High impact action with just as much emotional punch!

The Girl with All the Gifts was definitely not what I expected and exactly what I needed. I’ve been in such a reading slump for the past few months that while everything sounded good nothing could capture me. In a way this books very vague description gave it even more of an edge. If you haven’t read this already and you are considering reading it I advise stay far away from reviews with spoilers because it will ruin so much of the experience for you. Go in fresh…and clean so you can get ripped to shreds with the emotional impact you are in for. I literally experienced an entire range of emotions while reading this and that takes a really well written book to pull that much from me.

But who…who am I? What are we doing here?

Melanie is just a little ten year old girl. One that lives a strange life on an army base. When she isn’t in her cell she’s in the classroom learning from her teachers. She doesn’t know much about herself or anything from the outside world other then what she’s taught and can’t remember a time other then being there. A small group of rotating folks but above all her favorite teacher is Miss Justineau. Beautiful, fun and eccentric Miss Justineau. She teaches them all sorts of things, plays games with them, reads them stories of Greek myths and she is the only one that seems to actually connect and care about the children she is teaching. I would be putting it mildly to say that Melanie is a smart little girl, she’s pretty much a genius. But who is she really and why is she on that base…in that cell?

That’s right it’s a zombie novel – but you haven’t walked this hungryland before!

I went through a zombie book binge period several years back. I was literally devouring every zombie book I could get my hands on. Suffice to say I burnt myself out and that I feel like I’ve read this theme from a zillion different ways. But The Girl with all the Gifts fell so fresh and new. I can only say that it comes at the theme from a familiar direction but then travels down a new and unique path from then on. If you’re a zombie aficionado, a horror fan, or even if you aren’t either of those things this is a book that should not be missed.

There’s more then just Melanie along for the ride

While Melanie is most definitely the main character of The Girl with All the Gifts we get to read from the perspectives of 4 other additional characters. Though I won’t say who those characters are at this point. I know 5 perspectives might sound like a lot for a stand alone novel but it worked so perfectly for this book. Each character had a role to play and such a unique voice that I felt like each one of them was important to the overall story and picture that was being painted. Oh I didn’t mention before but I listened to the audio and read the book together because I just couldn’t bring myself to stop at any time (ok well except for this one particular night where it was really late and the action was so thick and intense that I was getting scared and just KNEW that if I went any further I would have nightmares…of course I had nightmares anyway).

I need more of the smack you are selling

So M.R. Carey, I’m hooked now. You’ve got to give up the goods. I love love loved that this was a stand alone novel. If there is more – of course I will read them. But I’m even more excited to see what new worlds and characters you might bring to life in future books. Count me in – when do I queue up for the next meal?

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

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30 Responses to “Review: The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey”

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Sorry I meant I listened to it in tandem. I would be listening while I did art projects or driving and then when I had a moment to actually read then I would pick up and read it. So it made getting through it much quicker.

      My husband can’t stand the sound of me listening to audio books around the house because he says it sounds like chipmunks/squirrels fighting – and I can’t stand that feel of earbuds in my ears, they are sensitive and end up hurting. I’m doing that quite frequently now with a number of books. I just started SOULLESS by Gail Carriger this morning and I’m listening to it while I crochet. Then when I hear a quote I like I look it up in my paperback and update it on goodreads.

      It also helps me keep track of how far along in the book I am since audible doesn’t have a “you’re this percent done with the novel” feature which is annnnnnnoying!
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  1. Annette

    I read some great things about this book, and put it on my list. Then I read a bunch of stuff that made me pause. Now, after reading your raves, I think I just need to find out for myself. Thanks!

  2. Molly Mortensen

    Unfortunately I’ve already read many reviews for this book so I’m probably already spoiled. I totally understand! The book I’m reviewing next week wasn’t at all what I expected but exactly what I needed. (and I think I used those words too, weird) I usually don’t do zombie books, at all, but since the main character is a zombie I think it’ll be okay. I hadn’t hear about the multiple points of view though. Not sure what I think of that.
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  3. Valerie

    YES this standalone was brilliant! It wasn’t even just about the action and zombies, but also about the existentialism and what it means to be alive and be a person. IT WAS GREAT! I’m really glad you enjoyed it Tabitha, but hahahah nightmares!? I didn’t get any after I read it, but I can see how that happened 😉 SCARY HUNGRIES!

    Also, that ending o.o what did you think of it? Not specifically but I guess feeling wise
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    • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

      I really liked the ending. It gave me hope and I stayed imagining Melanie going out in search of other kids and raising libraries fort their books and also her bringing back those kids to teach and her eventually being a big icon in the new humanity to come. But then I started. I get carried away. I love stand alone novels.

      I agree it definitely was about what it means to be alive!
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  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    This sounds so good! But I’m usually not a zombie fan. Sounds like The Girl With All The Gifts is pretty different from the current zombie fare out there, though. So glad you’ve emerged completely from the slump to rule all slumps!
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  5. Faye M.

    I absolutely loved this one, too. I’ve read so many zombie novels over the years, but this one tops all of them and makes them pale in comparison. It was just so beautifully written, you know? Yeah, it’s horror and the world is bleak, but there was a beautiful quality to it that made it really stand out. I think it’s because of how philosophical it was. It made me think a lot and made me wonder for these people and the world they live in.

    Plus, that ending. How can your mind not be blown away by that? It was so bittersweet I think I shed a tear .__.
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    • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

      Melanie was definitely the one that made this work for me. Yes the characters and the travel and hiding etc was typical of a zombie novel but I loved the underlying research and oddities in the story especially where the children were concerned. That’s what made it stick a great read for me. And I actually really like zombie novels when I’m in the mood for them. I went through a binge phase like three years ago tho and haven’t read many this year thankfully.
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