Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

From Goodreads: 
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.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, The Girl With All the Gifts is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
For some reason the books that I fall in love with are always the hardest to write about.  I want to say things in just the right way that people will know that this is a book that must be read.  The Girl With All the Gifts is one of those books.  I'll try to just hit the highlights and keep the gushing to a minimum.

First of all, you'll notice that the publisher's summary is sparse.  That's because to say anymore would take away from what, for me, was the highlight of the book.  The reader's expectations and assumptions about the world Carey has created are constantly shifting and being torn down.  Just when you think you have a good grasp on where things are headed and how you'd classify the book, something new is revealed.

Secondly, the characters are ridiculously compelling and complex.  As with the plot, you are constantly forced to reevaluate how you see each character.  I am a huge fan of characters you love to hate, and this book has plenty, but there are also characters you think you love to hate, who eventually you just come to love.

I cannot rave enough about the quality of the writing and the way the author uses language to give each character and unique voice, even though we don't have first person points of view for any of them.  I feel like we really get into their heads and learn their motivations so thoroughly, as a result of the choices she makes in expressing each voice.

Entertainment Value
So in addition to being well-written and having compelling characters, the plot itself is downright crazy.  There are so many twists and turns and shocks that you  never see coming.  I was absolutely engrossed from the first pages.  I don't want to say too much plot-wise because I don't want to give away any details, but I thoroughly enjoyed having my world rocked several times over the course of the book, as my assumptions proved false yet again.  It's definitely fast paced and enthralling, but neither the characters nor the writing suffer from the pacing.  I loved it.  So much that I devoured all 400+ pages over the course of two days.  

Please read this book.  And then call me, text me, message me, send me a smoke signal, whatever you need to do so that we can discuss how amazing it is.  It's definitely earned a spot on my best books of 2014 list and I'll be buying a copy for my shelf ASAP.  The only warnings I have are that there is strong language and violence, verging on gory at times.  But in such an amazing, creepy, keep you up at night way.  Also, it gets bonus points for sciencey stuff.  This is the kind of book that makes me love the genre, even if I refuse to say exactly what genre that is.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

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