The Girl With All The Gifts
Rarely, very rarely does anything remotely science-fiction themed grab hold of my attention. Granted, I do sometimes live for the campy horror-type movies on SyFy, but even cult-adored sci-fi books and movies lose me. The Matrix? Not a fan. The Hunger Games? I fought through those books. Classics like A Wrinkle in Time and Orwell’s 1984 held my attention, but I’ve always been the kind of girl that would rather delve into something lighthearted. When a friend and I had a book swap, she recommended that I read The Girl With All The Gifts first. I obliged, but had low hopes. A post-apocalyptic world? Children zombies? I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! I had the pleasure of devouring this sucker back in August over a span of just a day and a half.
We’re introduced to Melanie, a child kept in a strange jail-like place, where chemical showers and once-a-week feeding are the norm. She remains strapped into her wheelchair, escorted into classes each day, and it seems as if the adults in her life- the teachers, the guards- are scared of her and the other children. She’s never laid eyes on the outside world.
I walked into this one cold, with no ideas about where I would be taken, and noconcept of the books plot. If I could enter each reading the same way, I would. Seeing the world through Melanie’s eyes- to hear simple things like the branch of a tree described with such wonder and delight- it was as if I were experiencing them for the first time myself.
As it is with any good book, I didn’t want this one to end. I’d love to see where this world ends up, and whether or not our characters are able to move forward in this strange, futuristic Great Britain. I handed J’s book back to her over a brunch of avacado toast and poached eggs, and she told me that there’s rumor of a movie to be made. I’m a little old fashioned, and hope this one remains in novel form, but I’m curious to see an adaptation to film.
I wish I had read it a second time before handing it back to its owner- I feel like I would have picked up on more details the second time. It’s absolutely a must-read, especially if you’d like to see the world through a different set of eyes.