It’s been a while since I read anything in one sitting, and this book made me. Borrowed this from my sister to read something new and I couldn’t stop until I got to the end. Thoughts:
- The dystopian world fades into the background as the author focused perspective on Melanie, the special girl in the class, before shifting POV to the minor players in the story. The shift in the narrative was a welcome surprise.
- The relationship of Melanie and Ms. Justineau strongly evokes Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Ms. Honey. While Matilda had to fight tyranny with magic, Melanie’s self-awareness, wonder, and goodness fought off the icky fungal whatever that body-snatched her biology.
- Not for the faint of heart. While it may be common nowadays to depict people as the walking dead, having a child army kill you and run after you is gripping and also heartbreaking.
- Loved the Greek myth references. It is, I think, necessary literature to read kids or make them learn about the gods to awaken realizations of humanity, and the title of the book itself is a clue about a girl who had a special box of evils that she unleashed to the world. Melanie, like Pandora, is symbolic of hope in the post-apocalyptic world they live in.
There’s actually a film adaptation! I loved the book, so I’m looking forward how the movie holds up.