#21 The Giver, Lois Lowry
***** If you are unfamiliar with my book recaps, please realize that there are spoilers throughout. Proceed with caution if you have not yet or if you plan to read this book.
I saw previews for the movie and thought that it looked very interesting, appealing. So, when picking up a number of books for my “next to read” stack (seriously, I have a stack of books next to my desk that I pick through), I thought I would give it a whirl. All three books I purchased that day come from a series. I have opted to read the first books in each series to get a feel for whether I want to continue. After reading The Giver, I definitely want to read the remaining three books. I was able to read the book in four 30 minute lunch settings plus one hour-long wait during my husband’s medical procedure. The reason for this is that it is a children’s book. I had no clue – previews of the movie made it appear to be more adult in nature. Reading up on Lois Lowry for this blog, I found that she does not shy away from heavy subject matter while writing for young people. I admire that. And, although she has awards for her writing, there are some schools in America who refuse to house her in their libraries because of her subject matter. She makes young people call into question the mentality of the masses to blindly follow those put in charge in the world.
The Giver describes an established “utopia” where decision making is taken away from the residents. Everything that involves choice, including the ability to see colors, is removed. Memories are kept by only one person and when he is to be “released”, he becomes The Giver and his prodigy, The Receiver. The story is more about The Receiver (despite the title). He receives memories through the touch of The Giver. Memories that give him pain, hunger, happiness, love and all of the emotions that have been removed from the consciousness of his fellow residents. The indoctrination of citizens is described from the youngest to the oldest. When The Receiver is shown a video of his Father performing a “release” of a new child (only to realize with all of the memories he now possesses that this means murder), his view on the community he has lived within changes critically.
The book ends on an amazing cliffhanger, The Receiver’s escape and kidnapping of a new child that is scheduled for release and who he has grown to love.
I hope to pick up the remaining three novels in this series this weekend. If I can, I will knock out all three this week.
If you have read it, let me know what you think.