Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”
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 loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
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So we’ve all (probably) seen The Girl with all the Gifts floating around the blogosphere. The reviews on it are astronomical; everyone loves it! Everyone thinks it’s amazing! I’m wondering if I’m the only one that got it completely wrong. I’m not saying I didn’t like it. It was a good book- very philosophical, plenty interesting- but it just wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
Do you know anything about what this book really is? No? Then read that synopsis again. What kind of book do you think this is? Everything from the title to the synopsis to the cover to the reviews on the cover (like “heartfelt… painfully human” and “Tense and fast-paced with a heartwarming tenderness”) had me expecting and wanting this:
Synopsis: Due to her devastatingly powerful gift, Melanie is kept in a prison under lock and key until the fateful day that she escapes. Together with her new friends, she is ready to use her powers to teach the world about trust, friendship and love! (This picture even looks similar to the cover. How could you NOT expect this?)
What it actually was, though…
Synopsis: Due to her devastatingly powerful gift, Melanie is kept in a prison under lock and key until the fateful day that she escapes. Together with her new friends, she is ready to use her powers to
teach the world about trust, friendship and love! try not to kill anyone. Because she’s a zombie.
No seriously. The Girl with All the Gifts is a zombie book! Did anyone else see this coming? Also, that picture is from The Last of Us, an amazingly written game that deals with the exact same type of zombie as The Girl with All the Gifts. Fungi-style. In concept, a pretty neat idea. But not what I wanted or was expecting. It was better as a game.
Other than the fact that TGWATG was NOT in fact an uplifting, motivational novel with a happy ending, it wasn’t horrible. The characters were all thoroughly thought out and all had very unique viewpoints, to the point where I knew who was talking easily without them being addressed regardless of there being five different views. But it wasn’t for me. My whole reading experience was just practically waiting for the chapter to be over so I could get to Melanie’s viewpoint, and occasionally the Dr’s.
Overall.. it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t what I wanted. I was looking for beautiful, uplifting, inspiring, and I got dark, gloomy, death-to-humanity-feeling. There were a lot of good questions raised, and I think an educated person knowing what they’re in for would really enjoy it. It was well written and must have been thoroughly thought out and edited. And I firmly believe that it deserves all the good reviews its gotten because it is a good book. It just wasn’t for me.
Three Stars of Expectation Betrayal