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The Giver Quartet 04 - Son by Lois Lowry

The Giver Quartet 04 - Son (edition 2012)

by Lois Lowry

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1,188856,877 (3.87)53
Title:The Giver Quartet 04 - Son
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 393 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012
Tags:YA, Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian

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Son by Lois Lowry



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Finally got around to reading this. I like that it ties in the other three books in the series, because the connections had been tenuous at best before. It was also surprisingly nice to reinhabit the world of [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver, #1)|Lois Lowry|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342493368s/3636.jpg|2543234], and I liked Claire a lot.

In the end, I think I like the three sections it was divided into--but it was somewhat jarring to be thrown into three different narratives. First, Claire's life as a birthmother; then, her life in a new place, remembering nothing; finally, Gabe's life in Jonas and Kira's community. In the second section, especially, we follow Claire training to become stronger for a very long time--and then the subsequent journey she makes.

I liked having Jonas, Kira, and Gabe in there and I liked it when Gabe finally realizes Claire is his mother and he starts to love her, even though she's old and dying. When Claire first made that trade, I was devastated and unhappy.

Overall, I liked it, and I always like Lowry's simple, elegant writing. It didn't totally blow me away like [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver, #1)|Lois Lowry|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342493368s/3636.jpg|2543234], and the ending strikes me as very humanistic: the Trademaster is evil incarnate, but of course, his evil can't hold, because we're all just better than that. That logic is not quite good enough for me. ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |
I read The Giver and quite liked it. It seemed more nuanced than a lot of YA stuff. When I read Gathering Blue and Messenger, my interest flagged, but I picked up Son both for closure and because I thought it a great ending might redeem the whole series.

I was disappointed.

It's not an awful book, it just irritated me. First there was the training montage during which I had the Rocky theme song running through my head on repeat, followed by the interminably climb. Then there were little inconsistencies that annoyed me, like Claire realizing that she "loved" Gabe even though in The Giver, it wasn't until Jonas received it from the Giver that he---and presumably any member of the community---had any concept of love, much less knowledge of the word. It would have made sense if this scene had happened after Jonas had left the community and the memories had been released, but this was before. Maybe Lowry's point is that people in the community didn't really need the memories to feel the feelings, but then, why did it take so long for anyone to have any and do anything about it? And really, based on the rest of the book and the way the messages are hammered home, if that had been her intention, I'm sure I would know it and not just be speculating about it.

Then when Claire and Jonas meet up later, Jonas asks about when Claire stopped taking the pills, but earlier in the book, there was this big thing about how Claire never took the pills. She hadn't started before she went off to be a Birthmother and somehow she'd never been given pills after she gave birth.

I find this kind of thing irritating. If an author (and/or her editor) isn't going to put the time and effort into internal consistency, why should I give my time and effort to read the book? But of course I did read the book, and since I can't get that time back, I feel like I just got a bum deal from Trademaster.

My daughter seems to have lost steam after Gathering Blue, and I'm not going to encourage her to keep going. I'm really bad about quitting books that aren't doing it for me; it's not too early for her to learn the importance of knowing when to cut your literary losses. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Nov 27, 2015 |
This book started out stronger than the second and third of the Giver series. As I read the first section, I was amazed at how much it reminded me of The Giver - and not just because it was set in the original community. It seemed to me that Lowry's writing style was different in the second and third books, but was back in stride for Son. The Giver will always be my favorite because it was the first, but I really think Son rivals that book in strength of both writing and story. It could be argued that all four of the books are a little depressing considering the subject matter, but in my opinion the second and third were very dark, and it was hard for me to be swept away by them because they seemed hopeless from the beginning. Son, however, has many obstacles to tackle, but there is hope above it all. I really loved how it wrapped everything up so nicely, and can appreciate the second and third books now for the necessary stepping stones they were to bring everything together for this ending. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
A rather unnecessary conclusion to the Giver. I did really enjoy and maybe even "love" Gathering Blue & Messenger, even though it ruined The Giver's brilliant ambiguous ending. This was a simple, plot-driven story that seemed like a forced "ending" to the other 3, when with both books 1 & 3 the ending was settled and fine as-is. Son fails to provoke thought--I paused briefly at the end to ponder the possible truth of the concept that people who are miserable ("evil") thrive on seeing the pain and hurt they cause and that perhaps to really hurt them you can show them how happy and unaffected you are by their schemes.... but that was the only time I thought at all, save for the making connections to book 1 (plot-wise). I am barely glad I did read it for the sake of saying I did, nothing more. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
The story is broken in to three parts, Before, Between and Beyond. Claire is a Vessel, she carries a Product but the delivery doesn't go as planned. After the childbirth she is moved to working in the fisheries. She's curious about the child and when she finds him she visits him. Then he disappears and she is determined to find him, she stows away on a ship.

Then she's Between, living in a small fishing village beneath a cliff, trying to recover her memory after the ship capsized and learning how to live in this different culture, where she encounters things she never knew before. One of the villagers once climbed the cliff and was left crippled, but he teaches her to climb and what she finds at the top will change her life and the life of her family forever.

It's interesting but I found that the ending left me wanting more. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547887205, Hardcover)

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:52 -0400)

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Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken to the Nurturing Center to be adopted by a family unit.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.87)
1 5
2 18
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3 54
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