I got this book for Christmas which, once you read it (because you should) may sound kind of funny. It’s not the kind of feel good story one would expect to receive as a Christmas gift, but it IS wonderfully written. I’m not going to spoil anything about this book, so this review will (hopefully) be one of my shorter ones. I made the mistake of telling someone I was going to read “The Girl with all the Gifts” and the first thing they said was “Oh my god! I love that book! I knew there would be a twist but I wasn’t expecting…” Needless to say, I was pretty mad and it honestly spoiled the first 50 or 60 pages of the book for me. I’m not going to be that guy.
What I WILL say is that I love how Carey writes his chapters. Switching between three to four characters in a third person limited POV is pretty standard, but this is probably the only book I’ve read where the author does such a wonderful job writing each chapter in the perspective of his characters. Especially Melanie’s chapters, he really does capture the voice of this odd little girl phenomenally with not just his dialogue, but how he phrases things in her and all the other characters chapters. It creates a wonderful picture of their world by showing the reader how each of his very, very different characters experiences it and what it does to them and their psyche.
My only complaint is that the books ending felt a bit abrupt. It’s a good ending, don’t get me wrong. It all makes sense and it gets wrapped up very nicely. But the last few chapters just felt rushed. It’s such a big and defining moment for the characters with so many revelations that I would have preferred to spend a bit more time in that end game scenario. It’s not that I don’t understand what happened, it’s just my sense of “closure” wanted a bit more. That being said, the end is beautifully heartbreaking in its realism which isn’t done nearly enough in these kind of stories. Seriously, read it and then you’ll see what I mean and we can talk about it more. I’ll wait.
With the unique (and grounded in a healthy dose of real science) perspective Carey takes for his world, his amazing job embodying his characters in each chapter, and the subtle (and not so subtle) and wonderful twists this book contains, I’m giving it one of my really rare 5 stars! Go read it, now!
Click the book images to see them on Amazon!