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The Giver by Lois Lowry
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The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

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21,98999559 (4.2)463
"The Giver" takes place sometime in the future and about a young boy's life in his "community." Jonas, the young boy, after receiving his assignment, began to rebel against his community's lifestyle and was forced to make a choice of no return. This is an awesome book! ( )
  JTNguyen | Apr 25, 2012 |
English (984)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  English (Middle) (1)  All languages (992)
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The people in this world live in a bland place, with no color.Everyone sees black-and-white.Everyone in this bland world is assigned a job. Also, everyone is assigned a family, or a living unit. There is a guy named Jonas. Jonas, is the main character of the story.A giver sees all memories. A giver also, sees color, and feels things.

Jonas, tries to share is experiences with other, like his friends. All new givers do, share with others. Jonas is in some trouble, and has a plan yo leave. Jonas, then meets a baby named Gabriel, who is a younger giver. Gabriel is sent away to be killed, and Jonas goes to save him.Then, Gabriel and Jonas escape. Finally, the book ends with Jonas seeing the house and the edge of the cliff.
  Emmac.B1 | Mar 22, 2015 |
I love this book because although it was written in 1997, some of its predictive elements about society have come to life in our society today. How people are organized and programed by their society, how they do not question the systems in place, how there are so many things that we look past without questioning. The book has awesome literary elements, it has great flow and just the right about of suspense to keep any reader engaged.
  loross | Mar 11, 2015 |
Read for Science Fiction/Fantasy discussion.
  noah23 | Mar 9, 2015 |
Reading for pleasure
  julieabc | Mar 8, 2015 |
This is a fascinating book. The world that the author has created is so unique and interesting. I actually got bored after the first chapter or so, and put it aside, thinking it was just stupid. But then, a friend who had read the book explained some of it to me, and after that, I just had to finish it.

Sure enough, after a few chapters, the world blossomed, and I found myself glued to the pages. It's the story of a world where everything is bland. It's literally in black and white. Nothing exciting ever happens, because their society is designed that way.

But then, our hero Jonas suddenly starts to see color. Oh wow, color. How amazing. Of course it's not amazing to me, but to him, it's unbelievable. Because since birth, everything he's seen has been black and white.

Then, the sorting begins, as it does in every other goddamn young adult book. In this case, they're not sorted into factions, per se. They're sorted into jobs. Jonas happens to get chosen to be the Receiver, which is a very rare opportunity, indeed.

The Receiver is given the memories of the before time, before this society came to be. Back when there was color, and snow, and love. He is introduced to The Giver, who is to give him these memories.

This book moved me, and I really don't know why. When The Giver tells Jonas, "You can call me, The Giver," I literally cried. I can't remember the last time a book made me feel that much emotion.

Since Jonas is a rebel, like all other heroes in every goddamn young adult book, he decides that the world must know about these amazing memories. The world has to see color, and know what it's like to love.

Jonas kidnaps a baby, who was scheduled for termination, because he wasn't as perfect as the other babies. Then, Jonas escapes the society, to the outer limits of its boundaries, because for some fucked up reason, if the boundary is breached, the society will get back all their memories of the before time, and see color, and love and all that happy horseshit.

None of this makes any fucking sense. How would suddenly passing a fence actually change everyone's brains? From what I could tell, the society's brains are modified with medication, that limits their eyesight, and their emotions. So, I just don't get how some magical fence would make any change to that.

The only explanation is that it's magic. But of course, as they say, technology is magic, to those who have never seen, or experienced it. I mean, show a smartphone to some fucker who lives in the jungle, and I'm sure they would think it's magic. So, maybe it's just some strange technology that I don't understand.

Or maybe it's just the author going, "Because I said so! Okay? I don't have time to explain this shit." Because, that's really what I think it is. The author just got lazy.

That being said, it's still an amazing book. I would highly recommend it. The world building is just plain fascinating, and the characters are so real, they made me fucking cry. ( )
  gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
The Giver is a morally driven and interesting story about a young boy called Jonas who lives in a society free of crime and sadness. At the age of 12, children are assigned their jobs, which they will train for and do for the rest of their lives. Everything is chosen; from your parents to your partner. Jonas stands apart from the community when he is chosen to become the new "Memory Keeper". Society has been kept free of all the negative aspects of life because for as long as it has been formed, there has been someone who holds all the bad and good memories of the past within them. This is both bad and good for the inhabitants because, although they are protected from harm, they are also not exposed to the wonderful aspects of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because, even though it is supposed to be more of a children's book than young adult, the storyline is complex enough to hold the attention of older readers. I really enjoyed Jonas as a character because his character development from a scared boy, to someone willing to risk his future to save the community, is enjoyable to follow. This book shows the path of growing up; at first we are scared to accept that there are new responsibilities, but as we slowly get used to it we want to move more and more away from childhood.
  Wanganuihighlib | Mar 3, 2015 |
I realized while reading this that I've seen the movie on TV, so perhaps that made me less enthralled with the story than I might have been otherwise. Still, it is a disturbing possible future when at least one corner of the planet has coped with recovering from near annialation by eliminating emotions and individuality. Only one person knows the true history of mankind, and that person must carry all the pain and memories of the past so as to spare others from knowing that pain. Of course, learning those truths leads to questioning decisions made long ago to live without any emotional highs or lows, and that of course means the tide needs to turn. . . and it does. I'm interested in the stories of the next three companion pieces that complete this look at a possible future world. ( )
  lynetterl | Feb 27, 2015 |
Jonas has always lived with a feeling of perfection. Choices are taken away in this distopia. Jonas gets secrets from the Giver.
  RachelHollingsworth | Feb 27, 2015 |
Good read indeed ( )
  durgaprsd04 | Feb 25, 2015 |
This is a dystopian novel addressing social and political issues. Through the creation of a society based on sameness, precision of language , and control Lois Lowery bring to light many social and personal issues. Jonas a young teen get assigned to the job of receiver of memories, a highly regarded position in the community which he lives. Up to this point Jonas has believed his life is happy and all the rules of his community are for his own good. As he realizes that life has not always been as it is and that is not the same in other places he discovers personal choice and emotions are important. He then has a key decision to make as to his future and the future of his younger "brother" Gabe. It is thrilling and a good read that poses some very important questions about society as a whole. ( ) ( )
  lpierson14 | Feb 25, 2015 |
The Giver is one of my favorite memories from middle school. I enjoyed reading it then just as I do now. Jonas, the main character, is given a lot of responsibilities when he is assigned his "job". The story follows his journey of growing up and making his own decisions and going against the norm. It is an awesome read for middle school aged students because it keeps them interested and thinking. ( )
  SadieCooney | Feb 24, 2015 |
I finally read The Giver! And I'm SO glad I finally did! What a great little book. It is definitely enjoyable for kids and adults alike. This is sort of like the father of dystopia, and you can see why. (No, it is not really the "father," but is oft referred to as such in quick conversations. :)). It does SUCH a good job the whole "dystopian thing" without adding any weight at all... No unnecessary explanations weighing down the essence of the story.

I just.. I don't want to say anything about the plot because it's so nice discovering it in the book. Just, I would say, read it. I loved it.

FIVE of five stars. ( )
  avanders | Feb 22, 2015 |
This is a dystopian novel addressing social and political issues. Through the creation of a society based on sameness, precision of language , and control Lois Lowery bring to light many social and personal issues. Jonas a young teen get assigned to the job of receiver of memories, a highly regarded position in the community which he lives. Up to this point Jonas has believed his life is happy and all the rules of his community are for his own good. As he realizes that life has not always been as it is and that is not the same in other places he discovers personal choice and emotions are important. He then has a key decision to make as to his future and the future of his younger "brother" Gabe. It is thrilling and a good read that poses some very important questions about society as a whole. ( )
  Lisapier | Feb 18, 2015 |
This is a science fiction work. Jonas lives in a high-functioning orderly world, where memories, love, pain, death, and even color are unknown to its citizens. Only the man known as "The Receiver" has this knowledge. When Jonas is chosen to replace the Receiver, he is transferred the painful memories from centuries past. Jonas and the Receiver, also known as the Giver decide to also give the citizens the knowledge that has burdened them for so long. Jonas has to make the painful decision of leaving his family behind in order for everybody else to experience the real world, and the earth had music again. ( )
  athena.j | Feb 17, 2015 |
DYSTOPIA: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives
APOCALYPTIC: of, relating to, or involving terrible violence and destruction; of or relating to the end of the world

This novel is post-apocalyptic and dystopian. The people in the world Jonas inhabits live without choices. They are assigned roles; their mates and even if they will get married is decided for them. They are allowed two children, and even their children are assigned to them and named. Everything is regulated. If people are given choices, they might make the wrong choice.

Jonas is selected to be the “Receiver”, he goes for special training with the old Receiver, who is now The Giver. He holds the memories of the people, this is what he now begins to give to Jonas. Once Jonas starts to receive these memories, he begins to learn the secrets of the community and question everything he has previously accepted.

From the very beginning of this novel one can tell there is something sinister in Jonas’ world. Something evil hiding below the veneer of perfection and wonderful lives everyone lives. The fact that there is no fear, no crime, and ‘voices from the sky’, that know when you’ve done wrong proves it. After reading some of the book I guessed at one thing, and later turned out to be right, but the ending was somewhat of a surprise. It also ended with a not quite finished feeling to it, but hopefully the other books will help round out the story.
The three companion books to The Giver are: Gathering Blue; Messenger; and Son. I have all three and will be writing reviews when I finish them. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I have loved this book since I was a kid. I was so excited to find out later in life that there was a whole series. This was my introduction to dystopia, and I compare every other one I read to it. ( )
  Ahnya | Feb 12, 2015 |
Rereading this as an adult was the best choice ever. I remember loving The Giver as a teen, but was obviously very fuzzy on the details and why I had so much love for it. I recently saw the movie which inspired me to go back and read this again. It is a powerful story about love and life - the cornerstone of this novel is feeling. Watching Jonas learn to feel is amazing. Beautifully written.
Also, it's hard to think about the fact that dystopian novels were practically unheard of for young adults and teens when this was written. Lowry paved the way for the slew of ya dystopian novels that are so prevalent in current ya lit. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Rereading this as an adult was the best choice ever. I remember loving The Giver as a teen, but was obviously very fuzzy on the details and why I had so much love for it. I recently saw the movie which inspired me to go back and read this again. It is a powerful story about love and life - the cornerstone of this novel is feeling. Watching Jonas learn to feel is amazing. Beautifully written.
Also, it's hard to think about the fact that dystopian novels were practically unheard of for young adults and teens when this was written. Lowry paved the way for the slew of ya dystopian novels that are so prevalent in current ya lit. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Rereading this as an adult was the best choice ever. I remember loving The Giver as a teen, but was obviously very fuzzy on the details and why I had so much love for it. I recently saw the movie which inspired me to go back and read this again. It is a powerful story about love and life - the cornerstone of this novel is feeling. Watching Jonas learn to feel is amazing. Beautifully written.
Also, it's hard to think about the fact that dystopian novels were practically unheard of for young adults and teens when this was written. Lowry paved the way for the slew of ya dystopian novels that are so prevalent in current ya lit. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Imaginative world and riveting story. Very deep. I was left with TONS of questions at the end, though. ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
This was such an enjoyable little read, and after reading Shade's Children by Garth Nix I did see a connection ... which is funny, thinking about the two stories because they are pretty unrelated. I think it was the age limit ... You're a child up to this point and your entire existence up to this point is to train for adulthood ... or in the case of Shade's Children not so much adulthood.

If I understand correctly, The Giver was made into a movie? I'm definitely curious how it was done and will have to look for it! I'm so curious how old the movie made the parents if "adulthood" started at 12!!

I really enjoyed this book. I may keep it ...
Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Jan 29, 2015 |
This book was just ok for me. Maybe my expectations were too high after seeing all the awards this story won? I can't fault the writing style as that is quite good, (in a straight-forward way), but the story itself is just not all that original. It struck me as a YA version of Logan's Run with elements of Brave New World.

The weird magical realism of the "Giving" and "Receiving" of memories was also very strange. How that came to be was not explained at all. There was no mechanics behind it. It just was. On the other hand, there was plenty of explanation of how The Community had been formed so leaving out a cause for the titular aspect of the world created here struck me as odd.

All in all, the whole thing just rang too false for me to suspend my logical brain and fall completely into the story. On the plus side, this is a short book with decent characterization, and there is an interesting central mystery, but the abrupt and ambiguous ending left me somewhat unsatisfied.

I'm going to check out the next book in the 'Giver Quartet' to see where Lowry takes it from here. ( )
  ScoLgo | Jan 26, 2015 |
Both the movie and the book completely captivated me and made my mind reel. The thought of a world without experiencing the things that I take for granted every day is terrifying and completely unfathomable. I love the characters and their interactions and seeing the changes from beginning to end (though the first bits between the Giver and Jonas are a bit uncomfortable to me). It is fascinating to see concepts such as euthanasia and murder in such a light that the characters honestly don't even know that what they are doing is wrong (as long as it is done in the right way). Watching Jonas' character growth and struggles was well worth the read and I am looking forward to picking up another book in the quartet. ( )
  CSTaylor24 | Jan 17, 2015 |
This book haunts me, and that's the mark of a truly amazing book ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
The Giver is a book about a boy named Jonas and his life in the dystopian The Community. The book starts with Jonas and his family sitting around the dinner table talking about the feelings they had felt that day. This was a daily ritual that everyone did. It is a few weeks from the ceremony of twelve where the children of the community become adults and Jonas is in it. When it is time for the ceremony Jonas is nervous about what job he would be assigned to for the rest of his life. It turns out that Jonas is to be the Receiver of Memory, an important but mysterious job. On his first day to work Jonas meets a strange man who calls himself the Giver. The Giver explains that his job is to contain all the memories of the old world deemed to dangerous for public use such as weather, pain, war, hills and even color. The Giver slowly transfers all these memories to Jonas. Jonas becomes confused and wonders why these memories should be kept from the community. Then he finds out what happens to people who have been "released". To be released from the community you either have to become very old, break rules or be an infant who is thought to not grow up as a productive community member. Jonas discovers that when someone is released that they are put to death. This is too much for Jonas so he leaves the community along with Gabriel, a baby that was soon to be released. As they leave the community all the memories that the Giver gave to Jonas start to disappear. The book ends with Jonas desperately clinging to memories of love and music.

The Giver i think is an amazing book and it deserves all of its praise. I was confused about the community at first but i began to understand later on in the book when Jonas began to see colors and have actuall bonafide emotions. I thought at first that the entire society was evil and corrupt but then i realized, they didn't really know what they were doing. When Jonas's father realased an infant just because it was a twin he just whistled and carried on with his day. I am confused on how the Giver transfered memories though, they do not explain in the book so i guess we may never know.This book i think is a great piece of literature that shows us to be grateful for the small things in life. ( )
  justiceb.B1 | Jan 13, 2015 |
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