Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Giver

Lowry, Lois (1993). The Giver. Bantam Double Day Dell Books.
Young adult, middle grade.  Dystopian
Newbery Medal Winner

I gave this 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

I really wish I had read this when it first came out, as Lowry clearly planted a seed for many of the future generations of dystopian writers. She painted a very detailed picture of a world in which science and technology have developed to a point the government can create sameness for all its citizens. To swipe a line from Willy Wonka, happiness and harmony are what it's all about. Only a very limited few know what the rest of them are missing, but that's really all it takes for a yearning to start, and when there's yearning, there's change. Think Aldous Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD, minus the sex.

In all the harmony, the characters and this world are deeply disturbing, and the story poses many points to ponder about what makes us human -- free will, choice, guilt, sexuality, and morality to name a few qualities -- and what we are if those aspects are removed.

THE GIVER has an outstanding plot, intentionally written characters (we are only supposed to form specific feelings for those we do), and wonderful, rich writing. It has very minimal violence, no language issues, and no sexual situations -- only a reference to a teenaged boy's stirrings and no elaboration on that.

So why the 4.5 and not the 5.0? The ending. The ending just didn't do it for me and was a little disappointing, whether future companion novels were coming or not. I will probably continue to read the other three books, but I'm not sure they will mend the ending to the first. Want to see my signed copy? Click here.

UPDATE: Movie coming out in 2014! Watch the Movie Trailer HERE!

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