THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is not your typical post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. In fact, I tend to shy away from the sci-fi genre, but ever since I joined a book club (well, several actually), I’ve been pushed to read books outside my comfort zone. Surprisingly, this book had me hooked after the first sentence.
Carey exquisitely shapes a crumbling world through the lens of a unique child, a child that the world despises. The story is written from a perspective of a type of character we readers rarely experience. Carey redefines the “monster,” the “other,” forcing us to ask the question: Is our reaction to the “other” what creates the monster, and thus have we been the monsters all along? The real strength and pull of this book is Carey’s characterization of the main character. Yes, Carey’s worldbuilding is well executed, but the heart of the story is the main character’s path to salvation, to being okay with who she is. You will be taken on a journey that will leave you breathless, teary-eyed, and hopeful.
Dive into the book:
The story opens with 10 year-old Melanie describing her surroundings. Everyday she and the other children go to class and every night they are locked back inside her cell. For as long as she can remember, this has always been her life. She knows she and the other children are special, but she doesn’t know why. Every so often, a child is taken away to help Dr. Caldwell. Melanie doesn’t like this because those children never comes back. Melanie hopes she never has to help Dr. Caldwell because that means leaving her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau.
Pairs well with:
Ice cream as a way of paying homage to your childhood. At the end of the day, I think THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is about growing up. And at the very least, you’ll need something sweet after reading this heartbreaking story.