The Girl With All The Gifts in 3 words? Gripping, thrilling, exciting.
When I first saw this book it was perhaps 4 month ago, (maybe sooner, maybe later, I don’t have a great handle on time), and it was one I thought ‘Ooh yes, that sounds good. I’ll get that some other time’. That other time never really happened, until recently. It was on Amazon’s 3 for £10 offer so I figured WHY NOT?. I finished my last book and wanted something a bit different… perfect time for this to creep into my life. And I could not put it down.
Billed as “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.
Melanie is a very special girl.”
From the get go you know that there is something special about this girl, you know something isn’t right. She’s tied into a wheelchair… why is she tied into a wheelchair? Why is Sergeant Parks holding a gun to her head? Why is she special? What has she done? You start reading and you’re introduced to characters who fall into 3 categories: likeable, loveable and loatheable. There’s Melanie – the main character, a young girl who is the girl the title talks about. Miss Justineau – one of Melanie’s teachers, who is also a scientist (she reminds me of Miss Honey). Sergeant Parks – a hard as nails soldier in charge at the army base. Gallagher – who is a soldier who got saved by Parks from the army base and had to come along for the ride (he’s complicated) and Dr Caldwell – the scientist overseeing the science that is going on.
From the first page I was gripped. Absolutely hook, line and sinker. Set in a classroom with a class full of children who are tied to wheelchairs? I needed to know more. Why are the children all there? Why are they in cells? Why do they need to live on an army base? Why does Melanie play such an important part in the story? I had many questions about this book, and luckily they were all answered eventually. (I like when a book answers your questions… books that leave me wanting more KINDA drive me bonkers!) You’ll want to keep reading because you’ll want to know the answers to all these too.
The book is so much about relationships and what it means to be human. There are relationships in this book which change throughout. There are some which stay the same and others which you wish the characters would realise are not healthy. But essentially it’s part of what makes the book so brilliant. You root for (almost) all of the characters. I know people who have read this and been on a totally different team to me, but have loved it all the same. The characters in this book are 1 half of why I loved it so much.
The other half is the story. I’ve not read many post apocalyptic stories so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I absolutely adored this. It was exciting, it kept me on my toes. I didn’t want to put the book down because I never knew where it was going to go next. There were parts that I was SO frustrated at, parts where I wanted to scream and say NO YOU’RE DOING THE WRONG THING YOU STUPID FOOL. It’s like a tree with twisted branches… you never know if that’s where you really started and you can’t see the end cause there’s so much in your way.
But the ending… what. an. ending. Seriously. I cried so hard. You’ll know why once you get to it.
Please read this. It’s SO good. And plus there’s a film coming out at the end of September! Here’s the trailer. It looks EXCEPTIONAL. I may need a friend to go see it with… I’m pretty jumpy.
This book asks one big question throughout: what does it mean to be human?
Let me know if you’ve read this! Or if you have seen the trailer and haven’t read the book yet! You absolutely should! Leave me a comment or see me on twitter @eenalol