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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Club (What I'm Reading)



I finally finished (and loved) this month's book club selection, The Girl With All the Gifts. A few discussion questions and my responses are below. If you haven't finished, stop here. There are tons of spoilers in my responses. If you finished, please let me know how you liked the book and if you have suggestions for the July selection (June is already covered).   

1) How did you like the book overall? What rating would you give it out of 5? 

I'd rate the book a 5. I agree with some reviewers that the book starts slowly and takes a bit to get to the action. Before choosing the book, I hadn't heard anything about it so I went in without bias. I read a bit of a blurb on the book, saw that it was highly rated and decided to get into it. I didn't expect zombies/monsters/hungries but that didn't turn me off.  I'm glad I stuck with the book and got a fresh take on what has become a saturated genre. 

2) How would you compare this book to other zombie stories that you may have read?

I haven't really read other zombie stories. I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead but that's about the extent of my zombie love...and even that is more about the humans involved in the story. This was the first time I found myself alternating between cheering and feeling heartbroken for the zombie protagonist, Melanie. I fell in love with this little girl and cheered her and Miss Justineau throughout the book. 


3) What did you think of Doctor Caldwell's theory about Melanie and the other children being born hungry, as opposed to turned? 

I think her theory is pretty spot on. It is the only thing that can explain why the children don't lose their ability to think rationally despite the craving for human flesh. If that isn't the reason, the only other theory I could see is that the virus spreads slower in children so they keep their mental function for a lot longer. There is never a point where the kids mature to adulthood so there's no way to test that. 


4) What is your opinion of Melanie's actions at the end of the novel? Do you have any theories about the future of Melanie's world?

I think Melanie is looking to create the world she dreams about in the beginning of the novel. She wanted to save Miss Justineau and protect her. In the end, that ends up being necessary given the gang of young hungries out for vengeance, the loss of the humans' home base and the death of Parks and Gallager. While Melanie gets the other children under control, I am not sure they will ever love Miss Justineau the way Melanie does. As fierce as she is, I am not sure she could keep them from attacking and revolting a second time--even if they are learning everything she knows from Miss Justineau. I am not sure the two of them can create a peaceful new generation of half hungry half human race and a new future where humans don't have to worry about being eaten. Even Melanie acknowledges that the hunger is powerful even in the face of her love for Miss Justineau. 


5) What do you think will happen to Miss Justineau?

Sadly, I think she will be attached by the other child hungries and will die. I don't think Melanie will be able to protect her forever. 


9) Who were your favorite and least favorite characters and why?

It's tough to choose because at points, I liked all of them except Dr. Caldwell who is my least favorite. If the gang of child hungries can be considered a character, I'd like them just as little as I like Caldwell. That said, they strike more fear in me than hate. Parks was a tough character to like in the beginning but when his walls drop, he is kind and protective. Gallager is just an innocent guy with a broken childhood. He wasn't a favorite but I liked and understood him. Of course I love Melanie and Miss Justineau. Both come from a pure place and genuinely want to help each other. 

The book is being made into a movie, which is scheduled to come out next year. I can't wait and hope the people working on the film do the book justice! Happy reading and if you'd rather not read, let's chat in 2016 wen you can see the film. 

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