Review: The Giver (The Giver #1)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Publisher: Bantam Books, 2009
Genre: Dystopian, YA.
Source + Date Read: Library + May 2012
Recommend: If you like Dystopian YA, yes, if not, then no.
Book Pro’s: Short and sweet.
Book Con’s: Pace is a bit too fast, could use more detail.

Summary: 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 is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
More Information: GoodReads

The cover gives an average amount of clues before beginning the book, however, upon completion it makes a great deal more sense. It is neither fantastic or dreadful, it is an average compelling book cover that speaks of a haggard looking old man and the torn promise of a forest, escape maybe?

The book has one protagonist, Jonas, though the readers really do get a feel for the other characters in the book as it goes along. I don’t want to include spoilers, but there were certain moments when I became very angry at a character, or relieved to find out one was safe.

Placed in a Dystopian styled village, the book takes place for 3/4 of the book in a closed incommunity that exudes ‘sameness‘. It is a far cry from contemporary society, where people willingly allow themselves to not feel and everything from their clothes, to their food or jobs is regulated for the strength of the community. I sense something anthropological here, as the culture and community are a priority and the individual and their relationships are not relevant what so ever. Very imaginative, considering this came out in 1993 before the Dystopian Wave rode through literature. Kind of reminiscent to Matched.

The Giver is a YA novel and this aspect becomes obvious in the book’s writing style and plot as it progresses from a young man, Jonas, going from accepting and blind to the climax where he charters a great escape. I think that’s a spoiler. Oops

It is stereotypical in its pace, yet that does make it dull. Rather the book is sort of exciting, the type of read that one can complete in a solid afternoon of reading. Only 197 pages in length, it seemed a bit short actually as I would have liked to have more clues as to the world that the protagonist, Jonas, lives in. In fact, that is my biggest pet peeve in the book! There were so few descriptions of their world, it gave the image of a perfect suburbia. Fine- I get it, everyone is a step-ford wife. However, later on Jonas starts to ‘see beyond’ and we later on find out that it is because he was starting to see the color red. Hold up- wait a minute, nowhere is it described that people couldn’t see colour, or know certain words. Maybe this is my own ignorance, I don’t dispute that, but I would have liked some clues as to the ‘different-ness‘ of their world in the beginning, so that I could have avoided my frantic flip to the front of the novel (thinking I had missed something). Oh well.

It was an OK read, it was in moderation, satisfying, but it wasn’t very WOW. I am intrigued enough to continue the second book in the series.

Have you read The Giver? What do you think? All in all, I’ll award The Giver with .



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Dystopian, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Review: The Giver (The Giver #1)

  1. Pingback: Unpopular Book Tag | Bitches With Books

  2. Pingback: Quirky’s Reads 2012 | Bitches With Books

  3. jadechristyn says:

    This is in my TBR list for 2013 and my dystopian read for the Eclectic Reader Challenge. I’m quite intrigued because of the fact that it came out in 1993, but a little hesitant because of the cover. Thanks for the review! 🙂

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