My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Warning: mild spoilers after the synopsis
This is one of those books that I saw a lot of hype around but for some reason didn’t really know what it was about. A quick read of the synopsis doesn’t give much away but I thought what the heck I’ll add it to the TBR and get to it eventually. Now I’m asking myself why on earth did I wait so long.
This book is incredible and in my opinion deserves all of the hype and the praise around it. The author creates such a real and vivid world and characters that you feel like you’re there with them. It’s a beautiful, gruesome, gripping and absolutely heartbreaking story and like nothing I expected it to be. If you haven’t read it you need to right now (mostly so I have someone to rave over it with).
Synopsis (from GoodReads)
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
Thoughts (with mild spoilers)
Why have I never read a zombie book before????
I absolutely love a good zombie movie (favourites include World War Z, Dawn of the Dead and Shawn of the Dead) but for some reason this is the first book I’ve picked up about them.
It has all of the classic elements, a diverse mix of characters (some likeable, others not so much), a road trip, ethical dilemmas and some genuinely creepy and gruesome moments. It is however so much more than your typical zombie story. It’s a very intelligent thriller which has obviously been well thought out. There’s a realness to the world and the characters that makes you feel like you’re there with them on their journey.
There are moments which had me on the edge of my seat, at times I wanted to shout at the characters and other moments were genuinely heart breaking.
I’m not particularly knowledgeable about science stuff but it seemed like there was a real explanation behind the events and the behaviour of those affected.
With stories such as this you always know there is a risk that all will not end well and that tension and uncertainty is what I think makes it so unputdownable. I’m obviously not going to say how it ends but I will say that the ending was perfect.
I’d definitely recommend to anyone and everyone except possibly those who’re a bit squeamish.