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The Girl With All The Gifts Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 847 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356500152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356500157
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (847 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Original, thrilling and powerful (GUARDIAN)

Haunting, heartbreaking (VOGUE)

A great read that takes hold of you and doesn´t let go (John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN)

Keeps you on tenterhooks as the action unfolds (ELLE magazine)

A masterpiece (SUN)

Complex,heartbreaking, hopeful and intelligently written . . . Enigmatic and utterly gripping (HARPER'S BAZAAR)

Scary, tense and fast-paced . . . but with a heart-warming tenderness (MARIE CLAIRE)

Brilliant . . . Gripping right to the end (SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Carole Matthews)

Heartbreaking and shocking (FABULOUS (SUN magazine))

Both tender and devastating, a page-turner which kept me guessing up to the very last scene, as well as a meditation on what it means to be human . . . Fantastically enjoyable (Naomi Alderman, multi-award winning novelist)

A gripping, moving novel that comes highly recommended (SCIFINOW)

It was hard to quit reading such a compelling, intense book (i09.com)

I often forgot to breathe while I was turning the pages (BOOKTOPIA)

A heartbreaking and haunting story that is beautifully written (MINDFOOD)

Book Description

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Laura T VINE VOICE on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's difficult to know what to say about The Girl With All The Gifts without spoiling a twist that occurs early on in the novel and governs the entirety of the story from then on, but I think I'm safe to say that this story is set in an imagined dystopia, where huge population loss has decimated Britain and the few survivors hang on in military bases. On one of these bases lives ten-year-old Melanie, who spends most of her time in a cell and the rest in a classroom, where she soaks up information, especially Miss Justineau's stories of Greek mythology. But she and her fellow pupils are treated like dangerous animals, shackled to their seats and hosed down with disinfectant every Sunday. To Melanie, this is normal, but the reader realises within the first few pages that something is wrong...

This is a gripping and well-written thriller that runs along familiar lines, but manages to rise above its competitors by the sheer effectiveness of its storytelling and its careful handling of the central character, Melanie. I find that using child narrators is a very risky business, as it's so easy for the author to depict a child as twee, unrealistically naive, or sickeningly perceptive and honest. The depiction of Melanie, however, is almost entirely successful. This is partly due to her secret, which steers her depiction away from the usual cliches of childhood, partly due to the fact that she is not the only narrator, and partly because she does not narrate in first person, so MR Carey does not have to attempt the 'voice of a child'. I still had some niggles about her presentation, such as the story she writes early on in the novel, which does not read to me as the work of a ten-year-old with a 'genius-level' IQ, but as the work of a younger child with this level of ability.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very difficult review to write. I have a lot of feelings, that I haven’t yet untangled. But I want to let out some of this emotion in the form of this review. I have a lot to say, but I can’t say too much – the details of this book have been so wrapped up by the publishers that it would feel a shame to spoil anymore than they would like. I will say that I was looking forward to this book from the moment it was announced, spurred on by my love of Mike Carey’s Lucifer graphic novels. And now, this looks to be one of my favourite for the year – already!

Melanie and the children are not like other children. They stay in their rooms when not in class, which is led by one of four different teachers. There, they are taught the geography of England and the world – both things they have never seen. In fact, they have never seen anything but their cells, and their classroom. They know where freedom, whatever that is, lies – at the end of the corridor, behind a steel door. But when children are wheeled out of there, they never seem to come back…

Oh, and that’s the other thing. Whenever the children are taken to class, or to shower and eat (a once a week event), they are strapped into wheelchairs (despite the fact they can walk just fine), which neck straps and all. This is all done by a soldier, while two others watch on, guns pointed at the children’s heads.

Melanie’s world is not the world as we know it.

Nor is it the world as she knows it, come to think of it. She has never seen sky, and, until the day Miss Justineau forgets herself and strokes the little girl’s hair, has never felt human contact before.
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The concept for the book is pretty interesting but it would have made a nice novella. Sometimes it repeats things over and over until you feel like screaming "I get it!!! Just move the plot along please!" It's an easy (but long) read and the last 50 pages are interesting but there are about 300 pages of zombie filler in the middle.
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I didn't know anything about this book coming into it, which is always nice. I wasn't sure if it was sci-fi or thriller.

I was pleased to find the novel was dystopian and that I was engrossed in the early sections, which introduced the main character of a 10-year-old child, Melanie. The initial chapters of the novel are set in a military base and within this narrow environment the book works really well - the mysteries of how Melanie and her classmates are, what happens to the missing children and what lies beyond the bases walls are all compelling. Melanie herself is a well-written child character who immediately has your sympathies. It's difficult not to be moved by the situation Melanie and her classmates are in.

However, as the novel progresses and other locations are introduced, I felt it tailed off and I lost interest a little. The problem for me was that once the initial mysteries had been answered the rest of the book (about 2/3 of it) became a rather standard genre (I won't name the genre but it will be pretty apparent once you understand Melanie's condition) novel about a bunch of characters travelling cross-country whilst in constant peril. The intrigue I felt early on was gone and whilst the rest of the book was well written I was no longer enthralled.

Aside from Melanie, I didn't really care a great deal for the other characters, which didn't help.

Overall though, I think this is a book worth reading. Some people will love it and others, like me, will enjoy it with some reservations.
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