Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review: The Giver

The Giver

by Lois Lowry
Book 1 of The Giver

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.  Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

I'm uncertain how I feel about The Giver, but given the huge popularity as well as "classic"-ness of this book, I can't be certain that I'm on the same page.  It always worries me to find that a lot of people loved a certain book, but when I finally read it, I'm questioning my ability to see why the book is so popular.

Do I just NOT understand it like everyone else does?  Is there something I've missed, maybe?

There's no doubt that I enjoyed reading The Giver; there was an immensely hungry curiosity I felt while reading the book.  Throughout, I had a need to know what was going to happen on every aspect, be it the story, the characters, or even Jonas, himself.  I found myself more and more curious about the story's development and I started asking questions about the society, the community, the world, the people...

Mainly, I wanted to know how the world came about to be the way it is in The Giver.  I mean, there's a definitive "reason," but what propelled that need to force a community where everything is dictated by a structurally organized lifestyle that never deviates, built for the maximum sake of survival, to have to exist?  What will continue to happen?  Because no matter how soundproof a society's structure, there will always be a flaw somewhere that will eventually dictate the collapse of everything the community has stood for for hundreds and hundreds of years.

It's an interesting concept, the ideas within the dystopian world of The Giver.  However, I'm not sure I'm appreciating or comprehending The Giver on more than a simple, "Did I enjoy this book and what does it do for me?" level.  Like I'd mentioned before, I'm done with deep analysis and insightful thinking.

So, to me, while The Giver was a thoroughly well-written and enjoyable book, it didn't slip my notice that there is still so much missing from the story itself, especially after the fairly abrupt ending given to us.  I won't go into too much detail, even if I'll try to explain my conflicts in a way that doesn't spoil too much of the ending for others who haven't read The Giver.

Nonetheless, I should probably place a spoiler tag somewhere in here for the next few paragraphs.

Despite the fact that this book has been circulating for a long time now, I'm sure there are still people who haven't read it.  I mean, I've had this thing on my reading list since I was in middle school and finally picked it up to fulfill a Reading Challenge priority for this year.  I'm not saying that I would have never read it, I'm just saying that it wasn't ever my first choice simply because my mood dictates what I read and my recent mood has taken me in different directions.

So, while I don't like giving away conclusions and surprises, I'm going to label the next few paragraphs with a spoiler tag, because I will inevitably give away the exact way that the book ends.



I guess I'm mostly concerned about the abrupt ending.  You don't know what happened and why and whether or not the progress of the story meant anything at all.  But otherwise, I will admit that I enjoyed the majority of what I read in The Giver.  So I'm not really all that disappointed since I wasn't really sure what I was expecting anyway.


This book was read as part of my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in February 2014.

First Impression (originally posted on 02/13/2014)

I started reading this one at work last night and finished a good six chapters without realizing it.  Then I got home after work, told myself that I have insomnia anyway, and proceeded to read more of this book.

By the time I got to the heart of the story, I finally told myself to put the book down.  I need to at least get enough sleep to wake up at a decent time.  There's dinner to make, preparations to be done, lists to organize, friends to harass...  You know, stuff to do and no time.

I can see why The Giver turned out to be such a classic YA book.  There's enough content to see that Lois Lowry put a lot of thought into her world and her characters.  So far, I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  It may not be my favorite book, nor the best book I've read so far, but it's still a good one and I'm glad I added it specifically as a book to read for one of this year's Reading Challenges.

I'm only about half way through it right now, so it might still be too early to make any more opinions, but I have a good feeling I'll enjoy the rest of the book as much as I've enjoyed the first half so far.  Unfortunately, I also have a feeling this book may not be the most memorable despite how well written and created it is.

So much for trying to finish The Demon King first, but my intention had been to read the first chapter of The Giver as a sort of "first impressions" of sorts... and well... we all know what happens when something catches my attention enough to hold it.

So this will probably be the first book I finish for my TBR Pile Challenge (hosted by Roof Beam Reader), and I will update my post accordingly.

This update was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in February 2014.

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