The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

3 Stars

Ok, so I was really looking forward to reading this book when I ordered it on Amazon. I had originally seen this book in Waterstones under the post-apocalyptic shelf but it didn't seem to catch my attention at the time - the title and the cover just didn't seem to be in the right place. Anyway's, I was on Amazon a little time after and was searching through books of dystopian futures and this book came up again. So I thought, Ok, it might be decent. So I looked into it and ended up buying it.  

The Girl with All the Gifts plot centres around the outbreak of a fungal infection which turns its victims into 'hungries'. However, the children seem to react differently to the infection and seem to have some self control. It generally follows a young girl called Melanie. During the week, Melanie is strapped to a wheelchair whereby she can't move her head or her body, and wheeled to a classroom. In the classroom there are other children like Melanie and her favourite teacher is Miss Justineau. 

Although the blurb of this book doesn't exactly tell you about the outbreak, on reading numerous reviews of this book etc, you are told this anyway's, so it isn't too much of a spoiler and certainly doesn't spoil all the book. There is much more to it than just a fungal outbreak and finding out how to cure it. The beginning of the book was pretty good actually and I quite enjoyed the content being dumb downed a little due to the perspective of Melanie. However, the reason for the 3 stars in my overall review is the massive chunk in the middle of the book. I was bored after about 150 pages. I knew what was roughly going to happen in the next 200 pages and it wasn't much different to any other kind of zombie style story. It isn't a fast paced sort of book in those pages,it is quite slow. The pace did kind of remind me of the 28 days later franchise. Not to say that I don't like that film, but the unpredictability at this point was a little boring. 

I then got to around page 350 and I started to really enjoy the book again. Finding out how to or how not to cure the fungus was really good and I enjoyed the ending. If the big chunk in the book was as good as the rest, I would definitely have given this book a minimum of 4 stars. I have also just found out that this book is being turned into a movie. I might watch it just to see the similarities/differences. 

I have read that this book was enjoyed by a number of individuals, so by all means, it is a decent read if you like post-apocalyptic, zombie style books/films. There are some differences in the book to the general premise of these style books which made it stand out a little. However, I did have higher hopes for this book, hence the 3 star rating. 

Happy reading :)


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