The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1) The Girl with All the Gifts discussion

the girls with all the gifts

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Regan This discussion will cover pages 1-174 of The Girl with All the Gifts.

This book paints a picture of a post-apocalyptic zombie world where a group of scientists and military personnel work desperately to survive while experimenting on an anomalous group of children in the hopes of finding a cure. The children are taught unstructured lessons by the remaining adults, shower and eat only once a week, and are locked in cells and restrained by the military personnel there. The reader later learns that the seemingly normal children share the same taste for human flesh as the “hungries”, or those infected by the blood virus that has infected billions and decimated the earth’s population. The protagonist of the work is a young, bright girl named Melanie who does not understand what she is or how she came to be in the compound. She develops a special relationship with her teacher Miss Justineau, who reads her greek mythology and even goes so far as to stroke her hair (pg. 23). Melanie has a very tense relationship with the head of security, Sergeant Parks, and wishes to protect Miss J. from him. The reader also learns that this team of people led by scientist Caroline Caldwell has been collecting these children to dissect and experiment on as a last ditch effort to stop the virus that is waiting to bloom into something even more dangerous, that everyone, even Helen Justineau has been brought here to observe the physical and emotional reactions of the “children”(pg. 49). After Miss J gets too close to Melanie and has an altercation with Sergeant Parks that exposes the nature of his cannibalistic affliction, Dr. Caldwell decides that she’s going to lobotomize and dissect at least half of the remaining children, starting with Melanie (pg. 85). Luckily Miss J. stops Doctor Caldwell before any serious damage is done to Melanie, and at that exact moment a group of “hungries” led by junkers overpower the compound. Caldwell, Parks, and Miss J escape, but right when a pair of junkers are about to shoot Helen J, Melanie gets her first real taste of human flesh. Even though Melanie has the instinctive nature to feed, she fights to control herself around Miss J. “She wrestles with a wild animal, and the animal is her. So she knows she’s going to lose” (pg 115). I believe that Melanie is stronger than she thinks, but that she is only so strong. At some point she will snap and feed again, maybe on Miss J, maybe on Dr. Caldwell, maybe on the next person to get in her way. However, Melanie has the strength of will to fight her nature to protect the people she cares about, and I don’t think she will be beaten so easily. Parks, Miss J, Caldwell, and Ghallager, and Melanie head back to the homeland Beacon. Given the fact that communication had been lost with the compound and had lost communication with Beacon months ago, I don’t hold out too much hope that there were many survivors or even that Beacon is still standing. “What if it’s all gone, what if we’re all that’s left?” (pg. 131)

Alex Davidson loved the end to this book

message 3: by Jasmine (last edited Dec 25, 2015 04:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine So maybe someone can clarify this for me...what was the significance of Ms. J putting on that hazmat suit, only to begin teaching the feral hungry kids? I thought the point of burning up the fungus was to let it spread throughout the earth so that everyone could be a hungry and let the world start all over again.

Why would she need to put on that suit? Or was it because she was supposed to teach all the kids, so she needed to be protected?

Also, I take it there wasn't anyone left in Beacon? What happened with that?! I was a bit confused by the ending of this book. I felt like it ended too soon.

message 4: by Nuran (last edited Dec 26, 2015 02:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nuran Jasmine wrote: "So maybe someone can clarify this for me...what was the significance of Ms. J putting on that hazmat suit, only to begin teaching the feral hungry kids? I thought the point of burning up the fungus..."

It was so she would stay alive to teach and they in turn teach the next generation of "ferals" and eventually they'll all be like Melanie and create a new society, and Justineau accepted that fate because she felt it was her way of repenting for the hit and run she did.

Javier If she hadn't put on that suit, she would have become a hungry herself and thus wouldn't be able to teach the feral children. Remember first generation (i.e. infected) hungries lose all cognitive abilities.

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