Firstly, a little about myself. I do not like pumpkin. It doesn't matter what form it comes in. Raw, roasted, in a pie or cookies or other baked goods, in beverages, in soup: it all tastes disgusting to me. I don't even like the smell. Once upon a time when I worked in an office, I told the manager I was allergic to her pumpkin spice candle so she'd quit burning it in the break room and putting me off my lunch. Pumpkin and me just do not get along. But taste buds change as we grow older. I used to like zucchini and hate avocado, and now it's the other way around. So every once in a while I try something made with pumpkin just to see if my taste buds have changed and I can finally join the rest of my family in eating the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie without my gag reflex engaging. No luck so far.
Secondly, a little more about myself. I do not like zombie stories. It doesn't matter what form they come in. Books, movies, TV shows: they just do nothing for me. Friendships have become strained over my total apathy for The Walking Dead. Zombie stories and me just do not get along. But tastes change as we grow older. I used to be bored by Jane Austen and adore Terry Brooks, and now it's the other way around. So every once in a while I try something with zombies in it just to see if my tastes have changed and I can finally join my friends in rehashing Walking Dead episodes without dying of boredom while they bemoan the fate of whichever character snuffed it that week.
Enter The Girl with All the Gifts. I picked it up on a whim because it was on sale and I wanted something spooky to get me in the Halloween spirit. And you know what? We got along! Mostly. The present tense drove me slightly nuts and I thought the world-building info dumps were a bit rocky, but overall I enjoyed it. And somehow the author made me sympathize with an undead eater of human flesh. What sorcery is this?!
So while I still haven't overcome my general dislike of zombie stories or my apathy for The Walking Dead, I can heartily recommend this book to other zombie fence-sitters, especially ones who like apocalyptic stories that raise heavy moral issues and don't flinch from the answers.
But you know what this means, don't you? I have to keep trying pumpkin-flavored things every now and then. *sigh*