[REVIEW] The Giver

Series: The Giver Quartet #1
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: young adult, science fiction, dystopia
Published: August 1, 1994 (first published January 1, 1993)
Laurel-Leaf Books
The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)
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’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

*             *             *

“Well…” Jonas had to stop and think it through. “If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things! A blue tunic, or a red one?”

*             *             *

I picked up the Giver because of people saying that Ally Condie’s Matched is highly similar to this minus the romance, of course. And while reading this, I’d say that the world is undeniably the same.

The Giver is a dystopian novel that involves a future where people have decided to take away one’s freedom of choice – you wake up in the morning and wear the same thing as everyone, your future is decided by a group of people base on your abilities, etc. – and feelings of pain, difficulty, and such – because everything is well thought of. It is perhaps a utopian-looking society without all the beautiful feelings and experiences of pain, hardship, failure, and along with it are true love, companionship, and such.

This is a very easily understood novel that will definitely be a nice read for middle schoolers, I think. The world, is perhaps, something some of us would wish for because of our personal hardships in life but The Giver generally lets us see what life would be if people decided to set aside such things.

Jonas, the hero of the novel, was chosen to be the next ‘Receiver of Memory’ in which he is obliged to take generations of memories – history – of people who lived long before their generation. He was introduced to the wonders of colors, snow, the beauty of sun, and with those are the pain of war and other memories of pain.

The development on Jonas is gradually done. His assignment as ‘Receiver of Memory’ can easily be seen in how he views certain things. He’s quite the inquisitive boy and this generally became the reason why he did what he did after really seeing the society he lives in – the society of Sameness. He likes the feeling of warmth, togetherness, and love as he said:
Jonas nodded. “I liked the feeling of love,” he confessed. He glanced nervously at the speaker on the wall, reassuring himself that no one was listening. “I wish we still had that,” he whispered. “Of course,” he added quickly, “I do understand that it wouldn’t work very well. And that it’s much better to be organized the way we are now. I can see that it was a dangerous way to live.”
“Still,” he said slowly, almost to himself, “I did like the light they made. And the warmth.”

*             *             *

The Giver is a well written dystopian novel. It’s very simple and easy to understand. It presents a now stereotypical view of a dystopian world where choices were limited and the hero gradually finds the corruption of the society and tries to escape or fight it. It’s a nice read although probably not everybody's cup of tea (like me).

easy to understand. inquisitive hero. well written.

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