Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Reviews

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

The problem is The Girl With All The Gifts is that it is amazing and I don’t want to tell you anything about it.

You see, one of the best parts of this book is how it unfolds. Each layer of the story is slowly revealed with as much intense build up as the human nervous system can take. You guys, this book is flat out creepy. Like my shoulders are tense, I kind of have goosebumps, WHAT’S THAT? NO DON’T TOUCH ME I’M SCARED creepy. I went in with zero idea of what to expect besides Ellen at Orbit was really excited about it, Joss Whedon and io9 loved it and I think maybe there are zombies or something. I think this approach is sort of key for getting the full effect of the narrative.

Unfortunately, this leaves me kind of at loose ends as far as reviewing goes.

Falling Into Place

Reasons to read:

1. An unlikable main character

Hear me out. Liz is cruel, broken, and just plain toxic to those around her. The beauty about this book is that we get to experience her development. The different stages of her life–from childhood to the day she decides to end her life–are presented beautifully. While you might hate her decision, you also grow to understand them. Isn’t that awesome? Zhang created a very interesting and complex character and I love her for it.

2. The feels

As you can probably tell by the summary, this novel is an emotional sucker-punch to the heart. There’s something about it that makes it feel very personal. Reading about someone who is spiraling out of control is never easy.  I didn’t get emotional but I did feel like I had a sock down my throat. I wanted to change the outcome somehow but all I could do was read and enjoy the ride.

Disruption

Did you know this book is shiny? Just look at its cover! So shiny! Gloriously, gloriously shiny. You know how some people are beautiful on the inside and the outside? Well the great thing about this ponderously big tome is that it is shiny on the outside and the inside. Rather like a phosphorescent jellyfish, it shines even if you cut it open and play with its splayed tenders.

How is it shiny on the inside, Kat? You ask because you like things to make sense.

Cat scientists are only marginally more terrifying than real scientists.

Everything inside this book is just so good and pure and awesome. Maggie is one of those unusual YA protagonists who actually moves the storyline along herself. She doesn’t wait for anyone to strike. She’s beautifully flawed, fatally flawed but you just can’t help love her. She has a goal, a job to do and she’ll manoeuvre people into position to do it, even to her own detriment.

Sinner-Maggie-Stiefvater

Right, so, I make no secret of my Official Maggie Stiefvater Fangirl status. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s one of my top five authors of all time and there was more or less no way I wasn’t going to love the shit out of Sinner.

Yay for being right! I described this book to a friend as the kind of weirdo, ADHD lovechild you’d get if Maggie’s twitter had an affair with The Dream Thieves (aka, the best kind).

It’s a really interesting case study in how she’s evolved as a writer between the original Shiver trilogy and now. I recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in her work. If you haven’t read the original trilogy, don’t stress yourself out about it. While  they would obviously help establish the main characters’ back-story, pretty much everything you need to know is efficiently recapped in a way that doesn’t bog down the story.

We Were Liars

I went into We Were Liars one cocky son of a biscuit eater, feeling above it all right from page one. I’d seen this book talked about so heavily by other bloggers and how some never saw the twist coming or how others totally saw that twist coming. All the while, I was sitting on the sidelines with my shades on, posted up with my arms folded, saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hot potato.” That’s not to say I didn’t want to read this book, because I did. I even had an ARC sitting on my shelf for the longest time, but due to a lot of the hype, I kept putting it off. Plus, I’m one of those people who usually can easily figure out a plot twist and I didn’t want to dive into something where a lot of people already mentioned figuring it out.

But one thing did nag me a little in the back of my mind was that my Bookish Twin, Blythe from Finding Bliss in Books, LOVED it.

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