Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts


Title:  The Girl With All the Gifts

Author:  M. R. Carey

Rating:  5/5 stars


Book Depository

Book Review, Read at Midnight

This is one of the rare instances where I started reading a book I knew next-to-nothing about.  All I knew about the book was: Melanie is a 10 year old girl who’s been locked in a cell for as long as she can remember.  I thought it was going to be a bit like Ender’s Game.  However, what I ended up reading was, dare I say, far better than Ender’s Game.  Here was a dystopia with a familiar premise, but it felt fresh because of how character-centric the writing was.

Melanie is a protagonist, and most of the chapters we read are from her point of view.  I loved her narration, the author was great at keeping her voice innocent and filled with the black/white convictions only possible in childhood. There are four other narrators in this book, and their voices were all very distinct.  I liked how Caroline Caldwell’s chapters were handled in particular, as I could understand her motives yet never sympathise with her cause.

This is definitely a book that is best experienced without knowing too much about it, hence I will keep this review vague in terms of plot details. It’s got a lot of elements of post-apocalyptic zombie fares such as World War Z & The Walking Dead. However the science in the book feels very well researched and the writing makes TGWAtG unique.

I often feel dissatisfied with endings of stand-alone novel. The series-reader in me can’t help but want more.  Though in this case, I felt the ending was perfect.  Thinking back to the events of the book, I don’t think any other ending is possible.  Just like Melanie’s favourite tale: Pandora’s box, after all of the hurt and the evil has ravaged the world, hope still remains.

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone getting jaded with the current offerings in the dystopia genre.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

  1. I agree so much with you. This book IS the best zombie book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, just for the awesome narration and how it really made you think of the world beyond the black-and-white view. Who knew humanized zombies could actually work? It made me scared and so in awe at the same time. I’m so glad you ended up loving it.

    Faye at The Social Potato


    1. Yes! Part of me wants to see a sequel that deals with Melanie & the rest of the children – but that ending was so perfect.


  2. Dystopian but with a child’s POV? On it! Not actually into zombies but I might just discard that for this book. Plus who would’ve thought that it’s a Z book with the cover and title? I was actually thinking of a growing-up book but apparently I forgot that one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, lol! And thank you so much for telling that it’s a stand alone! I need a break from seeing too much series in bookstores. Not everyone can buy books okay ;-;

    Lovely post! (Hopefully I’m not being very creepy as I’m so far into your blog lol – as a defence I chose the reviews of books that I’m sort of interested in so I had a filter heh heh)


  3. I got this for Christmas & went in blind & was BLOWN AWAY!
    When Melanie was like “I won’t hurt you” in the very beginning my heart broke!
    I couldn’t quite picture the pods that grew out of fallen “zombies” I tried but it was not picturable. lol
    This book was fabulous & I want to see Melanie handle the children.


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