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The Giver by Lois Lowry

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“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

— Lois Lowry, The Giver

    Imagine a society where everyone is treated equally. There are countless rules in place to keep the community in check and not a single one is meant to be broken or overlooked. This is a community secluded from the rest of the world so that conflict never arises. The system in which they live structure every single thing to their very details. Pleasure and pain are non-existant as they are the sources of many actions that one does not want to see. Children are carefully taken cared of, year after year, until the age of 12. Upon this milestone, they are each given a respective job that fits their abilities. Its only after an in-depth analysis and thorough examination that the Elders find the perfect job for these children. A life-long supervision of every single person does, after all, give them an exhaustive idea of what these kids should grow up to be. This is a society where choices are not within your grasps, where secrets do not exist and where the present is the only relevant time. The Giver presents the theoretical utopia where routine dominates the playgrounds, but something much more vicious hides within its cowls.

    This novel was short but filled with meaningful thoughts. Lois Lowry does a magnificent job in creating a world that paints a lifeless society in which Jonas discovers the invisible truth through personal growth. The Giver presents us a world filled with proper etiquette, but void of decisions, of pleasure, of pain and of memories. Reading this at my age and with my experience in life felt like a drawback to me. Not to say that I saw everything coming, but most of the story and the ideas that were conveyed by Lois Lowry ended up feeling like a déjà vu. Even if it held a powerful idea, the story remained obvious to me. The Giver however stood out as a perfect Young Adult novel that could serve as an introduction to dystopias. Its core succeeds in embodying the very dangers of the genre in a rather conservative fashion. In fact, this book makes you realize a lot things we take for granted.

Emotions, experience and ambition are all integral to our lives.

This book makes sure to show you why.

Having the power of choice, the ability to feel and the opportunity to expand your knowledge beyond what you are obliged to know and apply is a must in today’s society.

This book makes sure to show you why.

The opportunity to learn from the past, to apply those lessons to the present and to mold a better future is a gift that we all possess and wouldn’t wish to lose.

This book makes sure to show you why.

    While I wasn’t mind-blown by the story, I was still able to appreciate the intentions behind the ideas conveyed and the direction the author took to deliver this tale. It is an undeniably unique construction of a utopia and it unveils with a dangerous grace the hidden face of a dystopia. It also takes a singular approach by ostracizing two individuals in order to confront two different ways of life, two different perceptions. While every single individual is stuck in a loop where deviation from normalcy has no place, Jonas and The Giver bring a layer of story-telling that helps readers understand the hidden. The Giver not only shows Jonas everything that their community has decided to kindly store away in one man, but also prompts readers to synergize with him and Jonas to fully understand the weight he has been carrying. Lois Lowry does a sincere job in showing us the power of memories and how it is the heart of our very existence.  All in all, it is through memories that we all distinguish the fun from the dull, the pleasure from the pain, the rights from the wrong, and the good from the bad.

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    The ending could be seen in two different ways, and I guess I preferred believing that Jonas’ fate was something that was a lot closer to darkness. I like that the author left it to the reader to decide what they wanted to see, and hear. In the end, Lois Lowry gave us the opportunity to do something that Jonas’ society wasn’t allowed to do. That is to choose. What you want as an ending could be as colourful as The Giver’s vision or as dull and bleak as Jonas’ community’s vision. The Giver is a classic that younger individuals should definitely dive into for the mere purpose of learning valuable lessons from Jonas’ experience. Although he was born in a life without colour, pain, or past, Jonas shows everyone that from the moment he learns the truth, he had gain the choice to be a free man.


The Giver was also adapted as a movie in 2014 with Brendon Thwaites portraying Jonas and Jeff Bridges as The Giver. The movie has an interesting number of known actors (even Taylor Swift is in it!). Although the book is known as a classic in young adult literature, the movie has failed to please a number of critics. Have you seen this movie adaptation?

    Since The Giver had the unfortunate, yet also fortunate, duty of sharing what was dear to him with his new apprentice, Jonas, I thought it would also be a great opportunity to give back to everyone out there a little something as well. No, I’m not talking about wiring you guys with an euphoric amount of cash that could ease your life in an instant. No, no. Maybe some day I could work something out. Maybe when Batman drops by and shares his never-ending cash flow with me and decides that it was about time that he extended his vigilantism to Montréal. Maybe…

No, but honestly.

    Since my American friends are celebrating Thanksgiving today/yesterday, I wanted to take this moment to share with you all my love and appreciation for all your kind words and constant appearances on our blog. Even if us Canadians have already had our Thanksgiving, I couldn’t miss this chance to share some love with all of you! I’m absolutely thankful for this honest, big-hearted and precious community who’s love for everything bookish is unquestionably contagious. Since the birth of Bookidote, my experience with all you peepz has been nothing less than extraordinary.

We truly hope the best for everyone and continue to appreciate everyone’s visit!

Much love to all of you! 😀

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Did you read The Giver yet? What did you think about it?
You haven’t read it, you say?
How about you read this story for yourself!
You can purchase your copy @Amazon Canada or @Chapters Indigo !
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below and follow us so you don’t miss anymore of our reviews!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆/

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32 thoughts on “The Giver by Lois Lowry

  1. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Love this review! I think you managed to sum up a lot of what I felt when I originally read this title. It was a good read, but I felt it could have been stronger in some areas. I do also appreciate endings that are open to interpretation. I have yet to watch the film haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you so much, Marie! 😀 Pretty cool that there are people who actually enjoyed the movie adaptation (since adaptations have this huge… fail rate). I’m quite glad to hear that you enjoyed both. That definitely does make the experience a lot better! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. honya says:

    Great review! This was probably the first dystopian book I ever read, and I found it both beautiful and thought provoking. If you’re interested, there are actually 3 connected stories, not exactly sequels but sort of. I do love that The Giver can stand alone if you want it to, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! I’m pretty sure that I would’ve adored this if I had read it back in high school. I was still able to appreciate it enough now though! 😀

      I’ve heard about the quartet, and also by how “unpopular” they were. But I’m definitely down to check them out in the future. I’m curious about the direction the author takes with the other books.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read Diverse Books says:

    What a thoughtful review as always! I did love The Giver when I read it in school and when I reread it as an adult. I haven’t watch the movie yet, though. I will have to do so soon. I hope it lives up to its source material! But I’m a little skeptical, judging by the trailer..

    Thank you for your kind words! You are so good to your readers and both of you deserve the best. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Thank you so much. Pretty happy to hear from you, mate! It feels like its been an eternity since I’ve seen you on my reviews! 😀 This warrants a refreshing walk down memory lane to check out what you’ve been up to!!

      I got to admit that the trailer does raise the skepticism within us. It also gave away A LOT of the plot. I can’t imagine what else they did to the book through the movie.

      Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Like

  4. Kat Impossible says:

    I am glad you liked the ending, I can’t deal with stories that don’t have real conclusions. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the morals of the story. The narrative could have been a little more interesting altogether, but I think it still teaches beautiful lessons.
    Also, great way to end the post!!! Kindness should rule the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Bahahah, thank you so much! 😛 I know what you mean about those no-real-ending books. I just think that some books those the multiple interpretation ending a lot better than others. What I’ll probably despise is the massive cliffhanger ending that does nothing more than stress you with the countless possibilities that could gladly fit for an ending. Especially if there’s no sequel and the only purpose was really that of suspense. But, yep. The Giver has beautiful lessons! Kids could learn a lot from this simple yet thought-provoking classic.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • Transhaan says:

      Hahah thank you so much for the kind words! It’s a quick and easy read too. I mean, if you were ever to come across a copy of it, you could easily finish it and tick it off your list of “everyone seems to have read it” list! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Like

      • TeacherofYA says:

        Oh, yes!
        I read The Giver back when it was still new! I’m that old, lol! I didn’t even know there were sequels until about two years ago! So I reread the first book, and then picked up the rest. After you read all four, it all falls into place!
        I actually want to reread the series again because I read it at work so I wasn’t as involved as I should be! Yes, it is that good. At first you’ll be confused to how they go together, but then it will all fall into place!

        Liked by 1 person

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