Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry




Publisher: Ember
Pages: 208

Source: Personal Copy





Jonas lives in a world that he initially believes to be perfect. His world consists of “sameness “among individuals, everyone follows the commands, and everything is in order. Each child is given equal opportunities, and the society functions as a whole. Each child’s is given equal opportunity; birthed by birth mothers who are chosen for the task. A child is given their name upon adoption, a name chosen by the government. Before adoption they are raised by “nurtures” and referred to by a number. Parents are to request a child, and the government must approve. At the age of seven, a child is given a front-button jacket, by eight; a child is no longer allowed to have a comfort object, by nine they are issued a bicycle, at twelve they’re selected for their future occupations. When Jonas is skipped during the selection process he doesn’t understand what could have happened. The government never makes mistakes, and everyone notices that Jonas’s number was not called. He is shocked to find out that he will be the new “Receiver,” a job that is given to only one person. An honorable position that he finds out is most painful. The Receiver is chosen by the current Giver and must apprentice. As the Giver passes on memories to Jonas, he becomes the sole person to remember. These memories are to be given to one person who is to warn against past mistakes. The Giver is very knowledgeable and the community is saved from the burden of horrific historical mistakes. The Giver begins to feel lightened, while Jonas begins to have a heavy burden cast upon him. Jonas must remain brave and courageous but he is beginning to question how his society is run.





The Giver was a very good read, but it is not my favorite. I really liked the concept of the book, but it didn’t feel as if the world was built well enough for me. The book was short, but felt like it dragged on in sections. I think it is definitely a book you will need to read on your own. At this point I’ve read a lot of dystopian novels, and this particular book didn’t live up to my expectations. I think it would have been better had I read it when I was younger, and these current Young Adult dystopian novels weren’t around. I think the book brings up relevant issues, and leaves room for a lot of discussion. I do think this book would appeal more to younger audience, possible pre-teens. The world is less complex but written to cause readers to think. I do find this world, very similar to Matched by Ally Condie. I really enjoyed Matched but the similarities were hard to ignore. I’ll have to discuss this further when I review Matched.

16 comments:

  1. I was not a big fan of this book either. It was just an ok read for me.

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  2. I am sorry to hear that this wasn't an excellent read for you. I do have it and want to read it at some point and see what I think of it. I know both my kids have read it!

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  3. We have a well read copy of this book in our home as the kids had to read it for school. I have not read it yet but maybe will one of these days. I think my kids read it in middle school but I don't remember them being overly excited about it.

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  4. I first read this one as a child and it quickly became a favorite. I read it over and over and over again. After reading your review, I wonder if my reaction would be different had I read it for the first time as an adult. Great review!

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  5. I have read a lot of mixed reviews about this book. I guess if you read this book before any other dystopian novel, then it will blow your mind. If you read it after reading The Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, etc, then it will be one more book among many others. Thanks for sharing! great review!

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  6. I've been very curious about this book for a while now. I haven't had a chance to get around to reading it though. Sorry to hear that it didn't live up to your expectations!

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  7. This probably was a book before it's time. Sorry to see you didn't love it.

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  8. Nice review! I've heard ramblings about this book before, but never truly knew what it was about. It definitely sounds like it holds an important message. Perhaps some day I'll give it a try. =)

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  9. I've been thinking of reading this one for some time. I may put it off for a little while based on your review. Great review though!

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  10. I read this one a very long time ago, and I think I was too young at the time to appreciate it. However, after reading your review I am worried that I might now be too old to really love it...Guess I'll have to read it and find out.

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  11. I haven't read this, it's on my TBR but heard lots of good things about it. I have read Matched and liked it. Have also heard the comparison between the two. Can't wait to hear your thoughts about the differences/similarities!

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  12. I loved The Giver, but you may have a point about it being better if the dystopian topic is new to you (as it was for me when I read this novel).

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  13. You have a nice review! Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-giver-by-lois-lowry.html

    Thanks and have a nice day! =)

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