The Giver - Lois Lowry

Jonas lives in a world that is perfect by most standards.  The people live in peaceful, controlled communities without worrying about fear, pain, or war.  When they turn Twelve, The Elders give each person their assigned jobs and they begin their training.  For Jonas, this is a much anticipated event because turning twelve is the last age that is celebrated and acknowledged.  This ceremony is different and Jonas is given the honor of becoming the new Receiver of Memories.  The old Receiver, now called The Giver, for his task is to pass along the memories of generations past of true love and happiness, sadness and pain to the new Receiver.  The new knowledge helps open his eyes to the truth about the world of Sameness around him.  It is his honor and duty to accept this challenge and his world is changed forever.  How will he handle this new truth?

I was at one of my best friend's house talking about books. (hhmm imagine that!)  She pulled out The Giver and asked me if I'd read it.  I had heard of it and that for some people it was a required reading for school.  I groaned and told her that I had not read it.  She then gave it to me and told me that I must read it, that it was good.  Obediently, I took the book and put it at the bottom of my TBR pile.  Needless to say, I wasn't too eager to read a book that was required reading for some.  Finally, I picked it up, especially since it's not very long at 179 pages, and discovered that it is AMAZING!  I really should have picked it up sooner. 

This book is brilliant from beginning to end!  For such a short, quick read it raises a lot of thought provoking questions.  I know I'm guilty, as are most people, of taking my life for granted, wishing that things were more like Jonas' world.  There positives and negatives to every situation.  Nothing is perfect even if you are ignorant to the negatives.  In the society described in the book, things seems perfect on the surface but when you learn the truth you understand how sad it all is.  There may not be any war but they know nothing of true love and the freedom to live as you like, choose your own mate, and things as simple as colors, snow, nature, and sunshine.  As Jonas slowly is able to understand these things and more including pain, he grows as a person and wants to help others see but that is forbidden.  This book has given me a new sense of appreciation for being able to live my life the way I want and being allowed to make my own choices.  

The ending did not disappoint and it is left open.  Normally open-ended ending irritate me but this time I was glad for it.  It gave me a sense of hope and optimism about Jonas' future.  I highly recommend this book to people of all ages and walks of life.  I didn't think I would like this book at all but I was thoroughly surprised.  It's an easy and quick read that won't leave you disappointed. 


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Siobian said...

I was one of the people who had this as required reading. I hated required reading in school, seriously hated it. But, this book was the first to change that. This was, and remains one of my absolute favorite books, ever. Great review!

Missie said...

Why do I feel like the only person on the planet who has yet to read this book! *kicks self*

I'm a fan of open endings, as long as they are not cliff hangers, so what am I waiting for. Terrific review.

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