Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: March 23, 1993
Genre: YA, dystopian
Series: (Companion Novels)
1. The Giver
2. Gathering Blue (October 1, 2000)
3. Messenger (April 26, 2004)
4. Untitled (expected pub 2012)
*Read for book club.
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.
I love reading dystopian stories. Although they seem like paranormal stories in a sense, they also have this feeling of “My God, this could actually happen.” That’s how I felt reading The Giver. I was surprised with how monotone the Community was, and as I read along and found out the people chose this life, it felt real to me in a sense. If this life was a possibility, I wouldn’t be surprised that people would chose it: It’s a life with no hurt or pain, no anger or sadness, nor any negative feelings/emotions of any kind. The sacrifice is that people also feel no happiness, love, or any positive emotions. That was the choice. To live in Sameness.
Because this was a book club read, my head is chocked full of questions with half-answers, and debates about the book. We had a lot to talk about with this one. It’s hard to give any examples without giving spoilers, so I apologize that I can’t really explain. I will say that it is definitely a book that will get you thinking, if you allow yourself. If you really think about the world they live in, how they function on a day-to-day basis, and then how Jonas shown the “way things once had been” and has to take it all in stride, it will have you feeling some strong things.
As for the characters themselves, I thought that Jonas and the Giver were deep, thorough characters, while the rest were all the same. Considering the fact that the Community’s number one goal was Sameness, I have to say that the characters were written perfectly. Aside from the two main characters, there were maybe 1 or 2 other characters that I felt anything towards, and that was because of the way Jonas felt about them. Lois Lowry definitely did a good job writing her characters so that you felt what Jonas felt.
Whether you have to read this for school in Grade 7 or choose to read it years later, The Giver is a great dystopian that will open your eyes to the way things might be if we finally break and are too afraid to be different.