The Girl with All the Gifts
by M.R. Carey
* * * * Stars (Great!)
Melanie attends classes with a number of other little kids, but she’s special. They all are in some respects, but Melanie’s intelligence, determination, and self-control set her apart. As the story unfolds, told from different characters’ perspectives, readers discover that the children are different in other ways, too, ways that require them to be physically restrained and wheeled into class in special chairs that immobilize their limbs and their heads. And their instructors, for their own safety, have to apply an “e-blocker” to mask their body odors and pheromones. And there’s a military presence. And a research team. And possibly a post-apocalyptic world outside of their little compound. Which is attacked. And then all bets are off. Melanie would do anything to protect her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau, from harm, but she may not be able to control her basic instincts.
This post-apocalyptic story is set in the aftermath of a pandemic that turns humans into “hungries,” zombie-like creatures whose minds are utterly destroyed after infection takes place. They are driven to eat uninfected people, who also become hungries if they manage to survive. The survival of the human race is at stake in this riveting, fast-paced, sci-fi thriller!
Reviewed by YA Librarian