19 August 2009

The Giver

Book: The Giver
Authoress: Lois Lowry
Pages: 179
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Condensed: Jonas lives in a time and place where there is no crime, no poverty, no hunger, and no locks. Where pills are used to dispose of pain and/or desire. Life is good until Jonas receives his new government assigned position. As the Receiver of Memories Jonas' eyes are irreversibly opened to all the beautiful things his people have given up.

My take: This story reminds me of the John Lennon song Imagine. It transports you to an idyllic perfect climate controlled land where families share their dreams before breakfast and hardships over dinner. But soon we realize what at the surface appears to be Utopian is actually Dystopian. There is no competition because everyone is the same. There are no mistakes because there are no choices. There are no books because knowledge is power. This is a journey in to the dark side of perfection that forces the readers to examine what are we willing to give up?

Overall I loved this story and intend to recommend it strongly to every reader I know.

Adventure-o-meter: Low.

Kiddie-o-meter: All the issues in this book are handled gently and tactfully and I can confidently recommend this book to tweens or teens. There are only two moments parents of tweens should be aware of.
  1. Jonas receives the memory of war and a young boy dying.
  2. Jonas has his first arousing dream about a girl in his class.
But again the writer covers both of these instances with such class and finesse that even young tweens can comfortably handle this one.

Adult-o-meter: While the writing style is directly geared to young adults I can optimistically assure you that most adults will relish in the hidden cautions of this tale.

Worth-a-read?: Yes. Buy it, read it, and share it with your tweens and teens.

Share worthy: "Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others."

Red light caution: While the resolution is not sad it is not by any means happy either. Read it for a thought provoking light read and do not expect a storybook ending.

My rating: 5 stars

Final say:
  1. My husband needs to read this one.
  2. What did you think of the end? How did you interpret the final moments of this book?


  1. I remember reading this back when I was still in 8th grade. Very good read, but I'm more of a happy ending type of girl.

  2. I read this for a book club awhile back. I really enjoyed it.

  3. LOVE this book. I recommended it to my husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law and they all loved it too. So I confidently second you in recommending this for adults.

    SPOILER coming up here: The ending kind of tore me up a bit. I interpreted it as Jonas having a hallucination as he was dying. But then I looked at the author's website and realized that this is a series, and it sounds like Jonas survives to appear in later books. That made me feel a lot better.

  4. My daughter read this one and thought it was moving. Speaking of, she is looking for a biography or autobiography of a prominent american for her us history class.
    btw she's 17 years old. any suggestions?
    ANNNNND before I leave, I must thank you for all of your visits & joyful comments! It means the world to me!
    XO Lisa

  5. Whoa, why haven't I read this book already? I will have to read this book at some point. Great review. =)

  6. NotNessie: Thank you!

    Spoiler: It's funny because at the end of the edition I read there was an interview with her. In it she stated that she didn't really resolve the ending because she liked that different people interpret it differently. Leaving every person to come to their own conclusions. I want to believe he finds what he was looking for. But yah your theory sounds much more plausible than mine.

    Lisa: I LOVE your page. It's beautiful and charming and I get happy every time I visit. Thanks for dropping by. I will think about your question and get back to you.

  7. A lot of schools have this on their reading lists but I was always in the class where the teacher decided "Hey, we're deviating from the curriculum this year! It'll be exciting!"

    It happened so often in my schooling I still have yet to read many of the classics everyone else has read when they were young! ha! But when I worked in a bookstore this book would fly off the shelves in the Fall!

  8. Great review! I haven't had the pleasure of reading this book yet. But now I think I'll grab it next time I see it in a bookstore. :)

  9. Thanks for the great review, by the way, I really like how you have it set up, really original. Anyway, I haven't read this one but I think I might have to now!

  10. Ok, yesterday I hadn't heard of this book... now I need to read it! It sounds so awesome! I really need to get my hands on this book! Awesome review!

  11. After I finally got around to reading this, my first thought was 'why did I wait so long.'

    This is a great book and well worth reading. Fabulous!

  12. This is still one of my favorite books. Very nice review. I really love your format. Any chance of getting the husband to read it? :)

  13. Hi Okie :) thanks for visiting.
    Thanks Jo :)
    Ya know Heather just yesterday I told my husband, "I'm buying this one in hardback and you have to read it sometime."

  14. This sounds good. I love books like this. Added to TBR list. Thanks a bunch ;)

    ♥ Nely

  15. It would be nice so to live in a world without crime, poverty, hunger, and locks.

  16. Great review, Juju! I haven't read the Giver but it sounds like a very interesting book.

  17. Loved this one, however, I am not liking Little Bee...it had the making for such a great book but is falling way short.

  18. Juju, thank you so much for visiting my blog. I love reading your comments. They make me smile. =) You're very sweet. Thank you. =)

    I want you to also know that your blog is awesome. =)

    I think I'll grab your New Moon widget. This other one I had was a fakee, with the prom scene from Twilight instead of a New Moon poster shoot. =P

  19. Great review! I absolutely absolutely need to get to this book!

  20. I definately need to read this one! I found your blog thru Book Lovers Diary... LOVE your choice of books!

  21. Juju, this was a great review ; ) Wasn't it a great book in it's own odd sort of way?
    BTW, award for you at my blog -- bwahahahaha!!!

  22. Welcome Lisa! :)

    Sarbear: I loved this book. I can't wait to own it.

    Thank you for the award.

  23. Oh yah totally grab the widget. We gotta spread the New Moon love.

  24. I've never read this! I like in your reviews how you do Kiddie meter, adventure meter, etc! Great feature!

  25. There's an award for you on my blog!

  26. Wow, this sounds good! Where was I exactly, that I had never heard of this book? It's now added to the infinite TBR list! Thanks! :D

  27. I read, well started reading it in 6th grade but I remember being confused. Maybe now, I'd enjoy it more. I know a lot of people who love this book.

    By the way I like your review style, very unique and helpful. =)

  28. I've never read this book, but after reading your review, I really want to.