I’ve known about this book forever, but I’ve never been drawn to it. The awesome trailer of the upcoming movie (August 15th, look out for my book to movie adaptation review) sparked my interest. I was going to buy The Giver on its own when I saw the beautiful omnibus of the whole quartet while browsing at the bookstore.
SUMMARY: Jonas’ 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.
MY THOUGHTS: At first, I had to get used to the writing. Not that it is poor, but it was executed so 9-12 years old, the target age group, would understand everything: straight to the point and no lengthy descriptions (that sometimes made you feel like the characterization and world building were lacking). I do love lyrical prose, or the use of irony, metaphor, or anything that adds to the quality of the writing, but we don’t get any of that. I did get used to it after a while though, and was able to appreciate it.
NOW, I think a review of this book disregarding the actual plot and morals of the story would totally miss the point. Therefore, I shall talk about it: how amazing. Lois Lowry presents to you a life that a lot of us would wish for under the motto of “sameness”. Everybody is equal, everybody gets a job that fit their abilities and interests, they get to have children only if they want them, they’re never sick, never in pain, never sad…. But then you get to realize as Jonas does that utter peace has a price and that it can get a little creepy. As the Giver share his memories of the world as it once was to him, he starts questioning the life he is forced to live and whether or not they should have a choice. He gets to experience emotions such as love, passion, adrenaline and fear. He starts seeing the colors that were removed from them long ago. He starts, in collaboration with the Giver, wanting everything to change. He does something very courageous at the end and that’s pretty much where the story ends.
My main complaint is that the story built itself for most of the novel at a relatively slow pace (which didn’t bother me) to unfold very quickly near the end. It felt rushed and I really think it could have been 100 pages more and be an excellent book. But again, given that it was written with a kid/younger teens audience in mind, it can be forgiven. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the sequels/companion novels Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son.
Happy Reading 🙂