Monday, November 4, 2013

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

Grade: 3 1/2 stars
Story summary: Jonas is approaching his twelfth birthday, when children of the Community are given their life's work. And when the day comes, he is given an Assignment unlike any of the Twelves he's seen before. And...I don't want to give too much more away, because part of the enjoyment of this book for me was discovering details about the world as I read.

Thoughts: For ages I judged this book by this cover, even though there's a handy dandy proverb that tells us not to do that. Once I finished the book, I realized that it was more suitable than I had originally thought, and significantly better than some of the other covers out there. Still, it does not look that much like what it is: a dystopian novel, somewhat along the lines of 1984 or Brave New World, except for a younger audience.

Full of intriguing ideas and--as mentioned in the story summary above--great world-building details. I was a little unsure of my satisfaction with how everything concluded, until I realized how it could be interpreted with quite a different meaning than is obvious upon superficial reading. Perhaps one of my few criticisms is that I wish it had been slightly more fleshed out, especially near the end. Perhaps that would have ruined the impact of it, though.

I actually rather wish I had read it when I was a bit younger. Not that I didn't like it now, but I think it could have become one of my favourites that I re-read over the years. It didn't have quite the same impact at my highly advanced* age.

P.S. Apparently there are two companion novels, which I am debating about reading. If anyone has read them, would you recommend them?

*Yeah, not actually that advanced... but more than a decade older than the main character.


SMW said...

I've read the Giver and sequels. There's actually a forth book as well, called "Son" that came out (last year?) I haven't read them in a while, but I love the series and do recommend them :)

RED said...

Awesome, thanks. I'll read them then, if I can get a hold of them.

SMW said...

We own the first three books, though not the forth, and you're welcome to borrow them. (well they're actually E's books, but I don't think she'd mind). Like you said in your review, though, the audience is more intended for people younger than yourself. So whatever you want, just let me know if you want to borrow them!

RED said...

Yeah, I'd love to borrow them sometime. Not now, because I'm rather overwhelmed with school at the moment. But sometime.

Also, I didn't mean they were too young for me or anything. I greatly enjoyed it. I just thought it would have been even better if I had read it for the FIRST time when I was younger. The first time you read something can have such a great impact. Then I could have been rereading it now, at my advanced old age.