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The Girl with All the Gifts

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  66,806 Ratings  ·  9,042 Reviews
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. Sh
Paperback, 460 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by Orbit (first published January 14th 2014)
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Pamela I can highly recommend Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend'. Don't let the film put you off. I pretend it never happened.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Nov 18, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it
“And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.”

I think, by now, pretty much everyone knows the truth and we can say this book is about zombies. Even the hardcover blurb drops some not so subtle hints about that. And I have to say that I'm not much of a traditional zombie fan - moaning, slow-walking dead people are ne
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jul 11, 2015 Jesse (JesseTheReader) rated it really liked it
Creepy, eerie, & unexpected! I enjoyed this one!
Wendy Darling
This is the story of a girl, locked in a room, who is strapped into a chair every morning while a man holds a gun to her head. She’s wheeled into a classroom in which there are other kids strapped into chairs just like hers, where a woman teaches them lessons that they will probably never need to learn.

This book is like a fantastic combination of

the scrupulously researched medical thriller aspects of Mira Grant's Deadline +
the queer, feral curiosity of a child who's not what she seems, like Oct
Apr 18, 2015 Braiden rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2014 karen rated it really liked it
argh, another tricky-to-review book.

i think it's safe to discuss the fact that this book is about zombies. that cat is outta that bag. but it's one of those new spins on the zombie-tale, like Raising Stony Mayhall and Zone One and The Reapers are the Angels, where the focus is not "run away from zombies aaaaaahhhh," but one which comes at the zombie story from a social philosophy angle as the survivors struggle with the responsibility of remaining human and redefining humanity in a world in whi
Maggie Stiefvater
Aug 18, 2014 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, recommended
The most sure-footed novel I've read all year. A dystopian thriller with a real, beating heart. Recommend. Recommend. Recommend.

Dec 19, 2014 Regan rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
A little different than what I was expecting but still great!
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Buddy read with the moistest awesome... My drinking buddy Mitchell, Kelly Goldblum and The Book pusher Ed

I had this review all planned out in my head. Then I went to sleep and it's gone. Getting old sucks, kids.

This may be kinda spoilery so read at your own caution. It's hard to not say anything about the book. I went into it blind and that might be the best way to head into it. I didn't even realize it was a zombie book-and don't get me wrong I likes some zombies but I've kinda taken a break
Despite the gushing praise this book has been receiving -- including a blurb by Josh Whedon -- I approached The Girl With All the Gifts with a fair amount of trepidation. I'm a zombie traditionalist at heart, which means my foray into "experimental" zombie fiction -- literary or otherwise -- has met with mixed results. I normally don't like my zombies to talk, fall in love or have existential crises. Hell, I don't even want my zombies to run; I'm all about the Romero shuffle (though there was so ...more
May 17, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be fair to this book, it is not really the sort of thing I would normally read – however, it was chosen by my book club and the initial description looked quite promising. Melanie is ten and, when we meet her, she is in a base – her entire world consisting of her cell, a corridor, a shower room and a classroom. Five days a week, Melanie is strapped into a wheelchair, fastened securely and wheeled into the classroom where she, and her fellow classmates are taught. Melanie is a bright and engag ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Ben rated it it was ok

This book has what might be the greatest first act I've ever read. I can't describe it, because part of its wonderful tension relies on the reader's ignorance of the situation. It's absolutely brilliant though, and tells a story of a tragically fascinating girl and her relationship with her teacher and the world around her. It promises so much.

Then act two begins and almost all of that is thrown out the window for boilerplate thriller territory. It is all well written, tense, and exception
Oct 02, 2015 Carol. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: apocalypse fans
One mark of a great book is how it plays with reader expectations. The strategy of taking a conventional genre story and turning it sideways often works. Sometimes it can fail, coming across as little more than a clever gimmick. But sometimes it succeeds beyond imagining, particularly in the hands of an author with talent like Carey’s. The Girl With All the Gifts uses lovely prose to explore the growth of ten year old Melanie, a child of the apocalypse who seems to be shuttled between a cell, a ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.”

Melanie has been a prisoner for a long time. All of her days are the same. Guards come to her cell, strap her securely into a chair and wheel her down the hall . . . . to a classroom? Obviously Melanie isn’t your a
Buddy Read with the lovely Anasylvia :)

I must admit that I went into this read blind...completely blind. I had no earthly idea what it was about but I noticed the high ratings and I was a bit intrigued by the title. Had I known the genre, I would have avoided it at all costs and that may be the reason why the synopsis is slowly revealed throughout the book.

I absolutely loved the build up of the story and throughout most of the book, I wanted to know what would be revealed next. I found this book
Will M.
Apr 05, 2016 Will M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi and Zombie fans
It's not usual that I enjoy zombie related books. I haven't read much, but I've seen a lot of movies and several tv series about it. When I first bought this book months ago, the only thing I knew about it was that it's about zombies. I was a bit reluctant to buy it, and also read it a few weeks ago, because I didn't see how an author could make a zombie book standout. M. R. Carey managed to do one of the more difficult things to do, and that is to make a zombie novel astounding.

When it comes to
Jul 13, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Joss Whedon says, "read this," I heed the call.

Only 10 years old, Melanie is brimming with curiosity about the world and unabashedly enthusiastic about school. Blessed with a genius intellect, a kind heart, and a love of mythology, it's easy to fall in love with the precocious protagonist of The Girl With All the Gifts. However, despite these gifts, the world is very afraid of Melanie--every morning, two armed guards arrive at her cell, strap her by the legs, arms, and neck to a wheelchair,
Jul 14, 2014 Jareed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
The Girl with All the Gifts is the book with all the treats.

Deciding what to have for supper was a subtle battle of attrition. The fact that Pasta won is a victory I could have lived with. Working within the defined limits of cooking, I prepared everything that was needed, left the Pasta boiling, and waited. Everything was going smoothly, almost asking, begging, that something go wrong, just as it does every time I walk into this alien dimension called kitchen. I should have stuck there, waited
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I confess, I’m not very good when it comes to pulling information out of book descriptions. But all I know is, when I first heard about The Girl with All The Gifts, it piqued my interest right away. Here you have a story about a bright young girl named Melanie, who for some reason everyone seems deathly afraid of. Being held at gun-point while being strapped into a wheelchair just to go to class? Judging by level of parano
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Recommended to Carmen by: LTWF
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2014 Phrynne rated it liked it
I'm giving this book three stars because I did enjoy reading it. However it did not live up to all its hype as being the best break out novel of the year or some such. I read somewhere that it started life as a short story and then was expanded into a book. The premise of the story certainly deserved more than a short story to tell it fully, but it did not warrant 406 pages. As a consequence, although the beginning and the end are good, it drags badly in the middle with far too much attention be ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Madeline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
"Her name is Melanie. It means 'the black girl', from an ancient Greek word, but her skin is actually very fair, so she thinks maybe it's not such a good name for her. She likes the name Pandora a whole lot, but you don't get to choose. Miss Justineau assigns names from a big list; new children get the top name on the boys' list or the top name on the girls' list, and that, Miss Justineau says, is that.
There haven't been any new children for a long time now. Melanie doesn't know why that it. The
Mr. Matt
Oct 08, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it it was amazing
I knew next to nothing about this book other than it was lighting up Goodreads with very positive reviews. I decided to give it a shot. It is the story of a very special little girl, Melanie, and her flight from a government compound after it collapses. It is also my vote for best book of 2014.

This book avoids all of the zombie apocalypse ruts that make survival horror (sometimes) a bit of a chore to read. Yes, there are rogue bands of survivors who are, in many ways, worse than the infected, b
As a huge horror fan, I have a confession to make. I've never been a massive fan of the zombie genre as a whole. I absolutely love The Walking Dead but my love for it actually has very little to do with the zombies. I love it for the characters and the humans in it. Their stories are what keep me gripped, and while I love Shaun of The Dead and I thoroughly enjoyed Zombieland and although I have really liked a lot of zombie films ([Rec] is my all time favourite horror movie after all), I just gen ...more
Melissa Martin
Oct 04, 2015 Melissa Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy-all, zombie

I have had this book for quite sometime and just now getting it finished! It is very nice to finally get to a book and love it so much. I did read reviews before I got the book so I already know it's a zombie book and you will too if you read mine or anyone else review. there is fungus among us.. Yeah, I said that and not I'm not going to talk about it! :)

These poor kids are brought in during the week to their class all strapped down in chairs. I
Mar 10, 2016 Malia rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2015

What a strange and memorable story! I had seen this book in the store for quite a while before finally picking it up as a summer read. Little did I know what an absorbing, unique story awaited me. I don't want to give away too much, in terms of plot, but the story centers around Melanie, a zombie of sorts - am I losing you? I know I was skeptical, too, normally shying away form reading books about the undead,but it's definitely not your average dead-man-walking story. Melanie is a being that doe
Faye, la Patata
Find me on: Twitter | The Social Potato | Not-So-Literary Heiresses

This was a beautiful book.

And that's kinda a weird thing to read, considering what we're talking about here is a zombie book. I mean, how can a book with flesh-eating abominations be deemed"beautiful"? We usually consider anything with zombies (or walkers, if you're a Walking Dead fan) full of gore and rotting mouths biting into human meat, blood spraying all over. We associate books in this subgenre with action scenes and bloodb
Aug 20, 2015 Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shelby by: Jessica
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
This book really surprised me. It had been on my TBR shelf for a little while, but my friend lending it to me bumped it up the list. This story is more than just a thriller or horror work; it is a progressive, original spin on a popular and recently overworked post-apocalyptic theme. Post-apocalyptic thrillers are one of my favorite kinds of stories to read, and Carey did not disappoint. While stories such as this one can sometimes read as trite and predictable, the seamless writing and well-exe ...more
Althea Ann
May 23, 2015 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ is zipping right up to my ‘best zombie books’ list, right alongside World War Z and Zone One.
The book hits pretty much everything I might want from my literary zombies:
Tight, tense pacing? Check.
Believable, multi-faceted characters? Check.
A good number of familiar genre tropes, mixed with some strikingly original (and extra-creepy) elements? Check.
Violence, action, and gore? Check.
Total apocalypse? That too.
All that, and a super-sweet, delicately treated musing on t
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I'm not sure what I can say about this book without giving spoilers.

I was very pleasantly surprised by it, though. I'd heard of it when it was published, but I really don't do zombie books, so I avoided it. Then, a month ago, I saw Will M's rave review, which made the book sound different from what I expected, and which also mentioned that M. R. Carey is the Mike Carey who wrote The Unwritten comic series, which I really liked.

The story is very fast-paced and suspenseful, but manages to be s
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Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel's X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.

Also writes as Mike Carey
More about M.R. Carey...

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“you can't save people from the world. There's nowhere else to take them.” 118 likes
“Melanie thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You've already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.” 82 likes
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