Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Series: The Giver Quartet #1
Edition: Paperback, 240 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
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The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
The Giver is one of those books I’ve heard about for years but avoided because everyone insisted that I needed to read it. (Seriously, that’s the best way to make sure I don’t ever pick up a book or watch a movie). It’s not that I was actively avoiding it, it just became one of those “I know I’ll enjoy it so I’ll put it off till later” kind of things. I watched the movie and had the strong desire to try out the book and see what they changed. The answer is a lot, but that’s not a bad thing because the book is vague in a lot of areas that the movie gives clarity.
It lost a star due to that vagueness, which I think would have worked for me if I had read it well before I started reading Dystopians all the time, but in a world where backstory has become a necessity for me I found myself with a ton of questions and almost no answers. So this is definitely on that I’ll be reading the next books to see if anything is fleshed out.
I loved the concept of their society and the extreme lengths they’ve gone through to make sure everyone is the same as everyone else. It was even better to see Jonas become more and more self aware, as well as notice things he’s seen his whole life in a completely different light. I liked that the memories were some tangible and could be passed on, but I kind of confused on the how. Jonas was a likeable character but it’s safe to say we know just as much about him as he does, which isn’t a lot given the situation.
Though I rarely ever say this I actually appreciated watching the movie first, because those things that I had so many questions about in the book had a bit of an explanation in the film.I didn’t agree with the changes they made in Jonas’ friends but given that a movie would be boring with such loose attachment like they have in the book it’s understandable.
Overall it’s a quick and addicting read that sucked me in and refused to let me go until I finished it. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next three books!