I read The Giver by Lois Lowry during Christmas vacation and wowza was it good! I’ll admit *sheepish bookworm grin* I watched the movie first. It was an accident, I promise! I didn’t know it was a book until I watched it, okay?
The book was So. Amazing.
I loved every bit of it and I don’t think the movie quite did it justice. It was good, but not as dazzling and intricate as the book.
****minor spoiler warning for this post****
There are so many things I could talk and fangirl about but the first thing that jumps to mind is the setting.
Honestly, I’m not one for dystopian worlds. For me, it gets a little monotonous, grim, dreary and somewhat boring.
But not The Giver.
It was absolutely remarkable. Not only was the dystopian concept expertly done, but the way it was done was brilliant.
The people weren’t sad-faced all the time, moaning and groaning about how terrible everything is and how the government stinks.
In fact, the citizens of the community were happy. Well, seemed to be happy. And the government wasn’t made up of tyrannical rulers trying slaughter the people and oppress them for power’s sake. They were deceived too. They were maneuvering the perfect system to try and help the citizens, in a twisted way.
He was awesome. Not because he was some nobody kid who rises to great power and takes on the problems of the world. He was a normal, average kid who didn’t mind the system at all. Once he took on his great responsibility of being The Receiver of Memory, he didn’t all of a sudden become burdened with glorious purpose; he was scared and confused.
The depth of this book was also mind-blowing. You could feel Jonas’s pain and love for his family unit, his friends, and community. When he realized that everyone he knew to be “happy” weren’t really happy, that they couldn’t feel anything, my heart broke with his. Everything was a lie and the people were just dead men walking, following the messed-up system. His longing for them to know the truth, to see color and love and pain and joy just showed how heroic he really was.
The Giver was the best mentor character I’ve ever read about. He wasn’t just the “old, wise guy” that sends the character we really care about on his grand adventure. He was broken and hurting, mentally deteriorating from the weight of all he’d seen. He needed Jonas just as much as Jonas needed him. They helped each other in the best ways possible.
So, the last thing I’m going to comment on is the diversity of this awesome novel. I may be as mislead as Jonas’s community, but I can’t think of one cliché that irked me. And trust me, I hate clichés. Something as simple as Jonas’s family unit. The parents weren’t dumb or mean, they loved Jonas and Lily the only way they could. Jonas and Lily had a very rare relationship. They didn’t bicker endlessly, hating each other’s guts all the time and complaining about one another to their mom and dad. In fact, Jonas was looking forward to teach his sister how to ride her bicycle. I mean, what?? And how Jonas interacted with Gabriel was very moving. In a typical YA novel, a twelve-year-old boy wouldn’t dare show a soft kindness and sweet love for a baby, much less be unafraid to show it to others. Guys, it brought tears to my eyes.
That’s only to name a couple things I greatly respected.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Did I miss anything? Am I completely crazy? Tell me all!