The Giver by Lois Lowry
Publisher: 1993, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Series: Giver #1
Jonas was raised in a seemingly perfect community. Everyone is respectful, thoughtful, and does their part to help the community flourish. However, when Jonas learns that he is selected to become the next Receiver of Memories, he learns the whole truth about his community.
I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time. Since it is actually older than I am you can probably guess how long it has been on my to be read list. About 6 or 7 years by my estimation. I don't really know what was keeping my from reading it, but since the movie is coming out in August I thought to myself "Shawnee, stop procrastination and read this book!" I am glad I finally did.
When you read this book, please keep in mind that it was originally published in 1993. So while in today's literature world it may be considered "dystopic fiction" it is nowhere near the style of today. Its not up to par with the rest of the books written. If you try to compare it to other dystopic worlds like the ones in Divergent, Hunger Games, and Matched, you will be disappointed. I'm just warning you now. So keep that in mind.
With all of this in mind, I REALLY enjoyed this novel. I thought the society was seemingly picturesque. Nothing could really go wrong there. And I found myself upset during some of Jonas' revelations, because while he was finding out the truth, so were the readers. Some of the things that happen behind closed doors in this community is quite frightening.
For Jonas as a character, I thought it would have worked much better if he was older. If I'm remembering correctly he is only 12 years old in the novel. Some of his thoughts and reactions just don't fit a 12 year old in my opinion. Putting that aside, I believe that Jonas was a great leading character. He was incredibly smart and caring. His identity transformation while he was undergoing his training to be the Receiver of Memories was fascinating. I couldn't put the book down, and my heart ached for Jonas.
While there were several other characters in the novel, only one had a great importance. The other were just there to show how different Jonas was becoming from the rest of his community. The once character of importance was, of course, The Giver. The Giver was Jonas' mentor as he received all of the memories The Giver had been holding for years on end. You can see how strong The Giver is during the novel, but you can also see how his strength was weakening. He was the perfect mentor for the young Jonas.
Now that I have read this novel, and have thoroughly enjoyed it, I can't wait to see the movie. While I can already tell that it is going to be very different from the novel, I still want to see it. And I also want to continue reading the series (yes, The Giver is the first installment of a series) because The Giver ended on a cliff hanger! It sucks! So now as I wait for Gathering Blue to come to me, I will read other books. :)