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The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (original 1993; edition 2002)

by Lois Lowry

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20,99391569 (4.22)391
JTNguyen's review
"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 |
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The best way to describe The Giver's world is by saying this:
Imagine living in a world without metaphor.
You have it. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
The best way to describe The Giver's world is by saying this:
Imagine living in a world without metaphor.
You have it. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
I love this book. From the first time I read it I was hooked. I think the idea of a society that has been stripped clean of everything and it being almost a white washed place is a very imaginative way to look at how our own society itself works in comparison. The idea of a place that lacks color and emotion is intriguing and getting to see a child's eyes opened to the memories of what life was like before the change is interesting. I think we would all feel similar to the way the young boy feels. ( )
  MrShawnsLilLady | Sep 12, 2014 |
Great storyline, exciting plot, unfortunately, I felt a bit like Jonus at the end, as though I had just discovered what "release" was. I hate books that end like this; it always feels like a cop-out to me. ( )
  C1ndyluhu | Sep 3, 2014 |
As a person who reads as much as I do and loves dystopian fiction it is surprising that I had not read [The Giver] by [Lois Lowry] before now. It has been in my classroom for years and on "my list" but I never got around to it. Now with it coming out as a movie(which I will never see because the book is ALWAYS better), I decided to read it.

It reminded me of [Fahrenheit 451] by [Ray Bradbury]. The concept of a sterilized society without creativity has been around for a long time. [Lowry] puts the reliance of society's memory on a child. It becomes his responsibility to remember and protect them from their own history. The Sameness is their protection but at what cost?

Overall I enjoyed [The Giver] and hope all my students read it. ( )
  MsHooker | Sep 1, 2014 |
This was a bit short and should have gone further, but I really enjoyed the story and engaged with the main character. Learning the truth and growing up has never been so well told. I can't wait to read the other stories in the quartet. ( )
  steven.wade | Aug 29, 2014 |
I decided I had to read the book before seeing the movie, which interested me. I enjoyed the book a lot. It's a fast read and very entertaining. The characters grabbed me right away. The only down side for me wasn't the author's fault. Since I'd seen a couple interviews of stars in the movie, I knew who thee of the characters were played by in the movie before reading it. That distracted me before we came across each character a little and I definitely pictured these three characters as I'd already seen them. Thankfully, the main character other than the Giver is not one I already knew. I looked that up after the fact.

I definitely recommend reading this if you didn't read it as a child and if you did, you might want to reread it. Many books I liked when I was younger didn't interest me any more when I tried to reread them. I think if you liked this before you'll still enjoy it. I can't wait to see the movie. It's clear the person playing the Giver (I won't give anything away if you somehow don't know yet) loved the book and reading it to his son, so I believe he would have wanted to stay true to the story. I look forward to seeing it this weekend! ( )
  KatKealy | Aug 29, 2014 |
Just saw the movie, so I had to read this again. Still one of my fave novels, but I forgot some parts of it. This is a futuristic and chilling tale that brings me new meaning in light of current governmental decisions. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Aug 27, 2014 |
This first book in the Giver Quartet stands the test of time. A fascinating take on a possible futuristic society, this book is the kind of Science Fiction like George Orwell or Ray Bradbury that make us question ourselves and our direction as a society. All four books are worthy of reading, though they are best enjoyed if you do not read the synopses first. Also I recommend getting a special edition of the Quartet, as I enjoyed the illustrated map of the communities from the first three books by Lois Lowry herself. There were also Reader questions at the end and special interviews, where I learned that Lois created the book covers herself. A great gift for an avid reader of any age. ( )
  Meghanista | Aug 25, 2014 |
Rating: 4.5 of 5

Quick, easy read that reminded me there ARE great middle grade/YA books yet to discover. And guess what? NO love triangles - yay! Full review to come. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Aug 24, 2014 |
I loved this book set in a future society where life is highly controlled. It was dark and frightening in a subdued way but it managed this without gruesome violence. The ending was a bit sentimental but a note of hope can only be a good thing. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Aug 22, 2014 |
I picked this book up at a goodwill store and never knew it was a required reading for most people. I never had to read it but I am very glad I picked it up. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
For a contributing citizen to be released from the community was a final decision, a terrible punishment, an overwhelming statement of failure.

Surprisingly I never had to read The Giver when I was in school. I decided to read it now before the movie version comes out so that I could compare the two should I decide to see the movie. While I did enjoy this book I did not enjoy the ending. I'll get more into the ending later but first let's discuss what comes before.

Jonas was definitely a good character to follow as he becomes the new Receiver. It was interesting to read his reactions to his sessions with the Giver and see how they affected his view of his community. I thought the community was really interesting and would have loved to have learned more about it, specifically the different jobs the people had, as opposed to always following Jonas.

I hate ambiguous endings. When I read a book I want resolution and I want an end. I don't want to have to make up my own version of what I thought happened. (The only ambiguous type ending that I actually enjoyed was Gone With the Wind, that left readers wondering whether Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara will end up together again.) The ending of this book was definitely left to the interpretation of the reader. I felt so invested in the story and couldn't wait to see what happened with Jonas and what happened with the community that this ending felt abrupt and not satisfying.

Overall I felt that this was an interesting read and I do feel that this would be a perfect book for highschoolers to read. I'm sure other people have made more in-depth reviews of this book with much more insight than mine but all I can really say is that I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend that everyone, sometime in their life, read this book. ( )
1 vote dpappas | Aug 12, 2014 |
It is the concept of this book that really drives you, not necessarily the writing or actual plot. The story is one that starts discussions, brings thoughts of "what if" to mind. It is a brilliant idea, with an ending that is not quite an ending, making those who take the subject seriously want to dive quickly into the next book of the series. ( )
  mirrani | Aug 10, 2014 |
Huh to the what?! Makes zero sense why this book is so popular. Chalk it up to a lame fad. Story was minimally interesting with flat ,non-descript characters. I'll pass. ( )
  abigail33 | Aug 10, 2014 |
This was an okay read. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't good enough for me to go see the film. It just wasn't. I may or may not read the rest of the trilogy. ( )
  mreed61 | Aug 10, 2014 |
I liked this book until the end- which sucked!
I'm not in for Hollywood type endings and don't know how she could have ended this, but I really disliked
this ending.
The story seemed to led one to a hopeful righting of wrongs, a striving of what's right only to fall flat - thus, is the answer don't even try? why bother? - because it won't do any good anyway!?????? ( )
2 vote KarenHerndon | Aug 6, 2014 |
3.5 stars
I've read a lot of dystopian novels recently, so maybe that's why it didn't make as lasting of an impact. Overall though, a good book. Full of meaning, without the depressing heaviness that can accompany the topic matter. It was a little slow for the first few chapters, but then it really picked up pace. I think it was well written, especially as the lack of color was a complete surprise to me. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses. ( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
It's been years since I've read this book and I was awed by how current it still is. This book was published 21 years ago and is STILL the shit! It's perfect for fans of dystopian novels like "The Hunger Games," "Divergent," or "Animal Farm." I can't wait to see the movie adaptation of this, the casting looks phenomenal.

If you're soo behind that you don't even know what the premise is, let me give you a little breakdown. Everything is the same. There is no color, or choice, or ill will. Everyone is polite, well fed, and has a purpose. At the age of twelve all children are assigned a job. Some get to become engineers, birth mothers, laborers, caretakers of the old. But for one young boy, Jonas, he is about to be given the most most honored job of all, the receiver. In order for sameness to exist one lone person must carry the memories of the past, of pain, of love, of confusion. It is a burden no one else gets to bear. As the giver places the memories of generations back into Jonas they both start to wonder. Is it worth trading memories for relative safety and sameness. Was it enough?

Friggin' phenomenal read. There are three other books in The Giver quartet. ( )
  ecataldi | Jul 30, 2014 |
"The Giver" is a dystopian novel for young adults. Jonah, the main character, is a 12 year old raised in a world that is literally flat. The hills have been levelled, there are no colors, and no music Politeness is legally mandatory. When Jonah is given his life assignment, he discovers the horrible truth holding up this strange society. It reads best as a parable about totalitarianism and political correctness.

( )
  HenryKrinkle | Jul 23, 2014 |
I can imagine how, had I been a younger reader, I might have begun reading The Giver and thought this family has it pretty good. Look how well they communicate and get along! It may take an adult's insight and knowledge to immediately see past the narrator's contentment with his lot and to perceive how restricted his life is. This society doesn't impose its restrictions in an ominous way, as in The Hunger Games; rather it's conditioned and self-imposed, which makes it that much more insidious and difficult to change as the hero discovers to his horror. This is the primary takeaway for readers: that we can become our own jailors through forgetting our history, through becoming too self-insulated, from playing life too safely. For a YA audience perhaps the author could have been more explicit in stating why this is wrong, why a life of safety and comfort could ever be a bad thing, but for an adult she has carefully measured this message out to just the right degree. ( )
  Cecrow | Jul 14, 2014 |
Read this when I was younger, but it's still one of my favorite books. Definitely a story that sticks with you no matter what your age. Captivating story that really leaves you wanting more. Please read before you see the movie. ( )
  Tigerlily12 | Jul 9, 2014 |
This book fascinated me when I was a kid. I read it sometime in middle school, but I'm not going to bother figuring out what year it was. Apparently it fascinated a lot of other people as well, but it's one of those books that sticks out from my middle school years. ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
I wasn't sure what to expect going in. Loved the slow reveal of what was really going on, though. And after reading Lowry's Newberry speech about it, I also really appreciated the ending, although I wasn't sure what to make of that when I finished the book initially.

Missed reading it as a kid, and I'm so glad I went back for it as an adult, especially before the hype for the movie spoiled the story for me. ( )
  ConnieJo | Jul 7, 2014 |
This is a lovely book that everyone should read. ( )
  klarsenmd | Jun 30, 2014 |
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