Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is a futuristic novel written by Lois Lowry. The book centers around a young boy named Jonas. In this book, Jonas and his family unit live inside a strange civilization founded by who we can only guess is the remaining people in the world after war, starvation, anger, and memories devastated it. Inside this strange society, there are no memories, no color, and no freedom. The book starts off with Jonas preparing for the
annual Ceremony of the Twelves. In this sacred tradition, young children turning twelve are given their jobs chosen by the Elders of the community, the people who enforce the rules. The choice is non-negotiable with the recipients, and if you chose to not follow the choice, then you are to be released from the community. With this important ceremony coming up, Jonas nervously anticipates the Elder's choice for him. When the Ceremony of the Twelves finally arrives, the Elders do something very rare and special: they give Jonas the job of the Receiver of Memory. Not knowing how much of a burden the Elders have put on him, Jonas agrees to meet the current Receiver and start his training. The Receiver tells Jonas to call him the Giver, and over his training, the Giver essentially gives Jonas all of the memories of everyone who once lived on Earth. Memories that can be good, such as love and peacefulness, but also the memories of war, and starvation, and loneliness. All these memories are memories that the people living inside the community do not have to bear. The only person that has to bear all of them now is Jonas. Jonas learns about love, hatred, brilliant colors, and depression. These memories encourage Jonas to do things that he would never have done before. But how far is he willing to go to learn the truth?

I loved this book because it's unlike anything I've ever read before. Imagine never seeing any color in the sky, or not being able to know what love is and how it feels. Would it really be worth it to have your memories stolen, in exchange for a perfect society? I enjoyed this book thoroughly, but I did not like the ending. Of course, I can't say the ending, because that would spoil the book. However, even though I did not particularly like the ending, it is very much worth it to read this book and uncover the adventures that lie in between The Giver's pages.

-Jordan K.

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