“Growing up and growing old. Playing. Exploring. Like Pooh and Piglet. And then like the Famous Five. And then like Heidi and Anne of Green Gables. And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both.”

“It’s like before the Breakdown people used to spend their whole lives making cocoons for themselves out of furniture and ornaments and books and toys and pictures and any kind of shit they could find. As though they hoped they’d be born out of the cocoon as something else.”

“Every adult grew from a kid who beat the odds. But at different times, in different places, the odds have been appallingly steep.”

One Million Page Princess


Every morning Melanie waits in her cell to be taken to class. Every morning when the Sergeant and the other armored soldiers come for her, there are guns pointed at her head. She wonder’s why no one seems to like her, and tries to make them smile by cracking a joke. “I won’t bite”, the little girl says with a genuinely sweet smile.

But no one laughs.

Melanie is a girl with many, many gifts. Unfortunately, not every gift is a blessing.

Part of what makes this novel so smart and completely thrilling, is not knowing what it’s about, or what makes Melanie special, until the author chooses to reveal it. Don’t look online for spoilers. Don’t try to ask me or anyone else that has read it what the big secret is. Just trust that if you are looking for something a bit spookier to kick off your fall reading, ideally leading up to the eerie day that is Halloween, this is it.

Normally I am not one for scary movies or horror stories, but this deeply dark and disturbing tale of a young girl trying to find her way is also so beautifully interwoven with the heartbreak that seems to come with being human that you can’t put it down. Eloquently written, The Girl with All the Gifts is fresh and intelligent and breathes new life into a nightmare we’ve all heard a million times. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time,