The Giver (The Giver #1)

Read from 20-21st September, 2014

Author: Lois Lowry

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4.5 Stars

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Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

* * * * * * * * * *

A hauntingly enchanting read that makes you think about the deeper issues in life. The Giver – “the book that made dystopia” – is a classic read for all ages.

This novel is beautifully written. The language is eloquent and intelligent, delivering an intriguing story based in a fascinating world so unlike our own, yet believable all the same.

I found this utopian society fascinating. At first, I actually felt like I wanted to be part of The Community – it sounded pretty cool. Everyone seemed intelligent, you pretty much got your idea job, and marriages seemed to work out pretty well. But then we started to see the flaws. There was no books to read for fun, there was no love, I’m not even going to go near the releasing process (how can anyone be okay with that? And if they truly feel that it is the right thing to do, why do they lie about it?) – oh, and there’s no colour. Literally. Everything’s in black and white – the “Sameness” is what the Giver called it.

The concepts and importance of identity, memory, emotions and choice were addressed. Lois writes, “It was a community without danger or pain. But it was also a community without music, colour or art. And it was a community without books.”

The ending, however, let me down. While there are three other books in the quartet, they are seemingly unrelated to The Giver – so we don’t find out what happens to the characters we have grown to love. I understand the idea of “open-ended” book, but I felt that the ending was rushed and that the novel didn’t really have a conclusion.

Despite this, I did love the story. The Giver is a book that can be read on a philosophical level or just for fun. Either way, I believe that this well-rounded book can be read by all ages (starting with children around eleven).

I look forward to seeing the movie – the characters have been ages about four years and a romance has been added in, but I’m interested in how true the movie is to the book.

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