anti-aging · anxiety · Book of the Week · depression · Generalized Anxiety · Reading · Skin · Sunday Book Club

Sunday Book Club: The Girl With All the Gifts

IMG_2570I promise at some point I will get back to the skin care–I am just about ready to start my winter skincare protocol.  Usually this entails lasering sun spots, a chemical peel or two, and some filler or botox, but this year I’m so excited to try something new.  I’m going to try the vampire facial!!  Look for a post on that in the next few weeks.  I can’t wait.

Christmas is creeping up on us, and I know this can be a really tough time for people who suffer from depression and anxiety.  The go-go-go schedule can wear you out, not to mention the financial strain. Many also struggle from loneliness and sadness.  There is so much pressure to be happy and dive into the “most wonderful time of the year,” but there is a sad side as well.  New Year’s Day (according to sciencemag.org) is the most common day of the year for suicide. Please, let’s watch out for each other.

On to this week’s book: The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey.  I’m not a fan of the horror genre.  I read several reviews before picking it up, and all placed it in that category.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The book is not so much about zombies (although those figure prominently and there are some gruesome scenes) as much as it is about human relationships and interactions.

Melanie is a 10 year-old girl who loves books, her friends and school. She is exceptionally perceptive and seems like any ordinary little girl.  Except that she lives in a cell by herself, she has to be strapped down in to a chair to go to class, and sometimes muzzled.  Her classmates disappear regularly.  The bright spot in her day is Miss Justineau, one of her teachers.  Parentless and alone, Miss Justineau is in many ways a surrogate mother for this sweet child.  Sweet, that is, until she smells human flesh.

This book is less about zombies and more about what makes us human.  Some of the most poignant scenes occur when the infected still have glimpses of their human selves. One scene in particular includes an elderly zombie who repeats a woman’s name over and over again.

Another major character, Caroline Caldwell, is determined to find a cure for the zombie virus.  This children, who seem to be evolving from the emotionless shells of humans into human/zombie hybrids, hold the key to finding a cure for the virus.  She performs medical experiments on the children, especially their brains, to find the answers.  Although she is the villain of the story–is she really?  Her intentions are to save the human race from extinction.  But at what price?

This book is about all these ethical questions, and to be quite honest, I never really found the right answer.  Yes, it is important to find a cure.  No, it is never okay to harm a child.  Yes, we all need love and affection.  That is part of being human.  And what defines being human?

Interesting book, even if you don’t like horror. (And personally, I don’t think this book is horror.  I really think it’s been mislabeled.) It’s a fast read, but one that will leave you thinking about it for awhile.

Next week’s book: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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