Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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

You know how, when you're in the middle of a great book, you can't wait to get back to it? When I'm reading a book like that, I find myself thinking about the characters during the non-reading parts of my day and wondering about what's going to happen next!

I just finished a book like that...

I'd looked at Girl With All the Gifts months ago, but didn't get it then. I was in Barnes and Noble last week and saw it again. I started reading the first page...

"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 is. There used to be lots; every week, or every couple of weeks, voices in the night. Muttered orders, complaints, the occasional curse. A cell door slamming. Then, after a while, usually a month or two, a new face in the classroom - a new boy or girl who hadn't even learned to talk yet. But they got it fast.

"Melanie was new herself, once, but that's hard to remember because it was a long time ago. It was before there were any words; there were just things without names, and things without names don't stay in your mind. They fall out, and then they're gone."

I was intrigued. Miss Justineau gives the children their names? There are cell doors? What kind of classroom is this?


I hesitate to say much about the story, as a huge part of my enjoyment of this book was not knowing anything about it and diving in, experiencing everything as I read. This is a thriller, and a good one.

As I was reading, I absolutely visualized this as a movie. It didn't surprise me to learn that M.R. Carey has written a screenplay. Well done!

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