Amazon Blurb: Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”
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 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.The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.
I saw this book around the interwebs. Somebody said it was diverse, but when I saw the little girl on the cover I shrugged and said no. I had to finally give it a try after the guys on the Self-Publishing Broadcast kept bragging about it. And Oh my gawd. It was soooo good.
It gave me my much sought after diversity high because not only is one of the main characters, Ms. Justineau, a black woman, but she is so perfectly, beautifully and so well-crafted that I couldn’t help but fall hopelessly in love with her.
Love is the motivator of so much in life and in literature. But love as a breathing character like what Melanie has Ms. Justineau. I’ve never encountered such a thing in a book before. Never. I’m still processing it. Let me stress that this wasn’t sexual love. It wasn’t even the love between a mother and her child, but it was still pure unconditional love.
I could argue that Melanie couldn’t love anyone else. Noone reciprocated the child’s affection but Ms. J. All of the other adults ignored if not straight out showed her disdain and fear.
So even if Melanie only love Ms. J out of a need for love and affection, it was still the most beautiful book I’ve ever read about love. Love. Love.
I was so enamored by the book that I looked up the movie cast. I remember someone saying it was going to be whitewashed, which would be completely stupid because Ms. J was defined by her skin color in such lovely detail that there is no way they could make the movie and cast anyone other than an older, brown skinned goddess.
Well ya know how that goes. .. Ms. J is going to be played by a pale-skinned women. Melanie, who is white as a sheet in the book, is being played by a black actress.
Cool, I originally thought. Melanie is a MAJOR role. MAJOR! Then I thought about it more and my enthusiasm died. Miss J, a dark skinned older woman, is the object of affection in the book. She was the embodiment of love. She was symbolic of everything beautiful left in this dystopian world.
To make Miss J white takes away an important diverse aspect of The Girl with all of the gifts novel, and puts it back into a white woman’s hands. Soo…. And you can even make the argument that is goes into White savior mode. But that can’t apply whole, Melanie is the one always having dreams of saving Miss J. Anyways, its almost circular argument. And race could be taken out I completely and enjoyed for arts sake.
As an older, dark-skinned woman, Ms. J. was me. So I’m officially voicing my disappointment in having any one other than a dark-skinned beauty play Ms. J.
See move pic below: It also looks horrible to see a black child with her hands shackled with a face mask. That’s a loaded image. — At the same time, we need more deadly black characters, so I’m torn. But people have a hard enough time seeing black people (see Tamir Rice) as human and non-threatening. Like I said, loaded image. too much history to unpack on a blog post. Either way, I’m still gonna see the movie.
Either way, I’m still gonna see the movie. I think it’s worth paying for. It’ll just be hard to check my history at the door.
I listened to the audiobook, btw. Amie has an awesome review of the audiobook here