Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Why I read this book:
Over at the book smugglers practically every time they reviewed a Dystopia novel they mentioned The Giver and compared it back to that. That being their placeholder for Dystopia. As I recently read and LOVE Divergent a YA dystopia I thought I would delve a bit further into the genre and get a look at what is supposedly the roots of it.
I got this book on audio format from the library. So complain the first is I hated the musical bits they put in there. I think it was to help create dramatic tension and to also stress important parts of the book, but really it sounded dated and I could have done without.
The story was okay. I liked it well enough but also found it moved slow. I found it took a while to build the world and then get to the point of where we meet the Giver, almost half way through the book before we really hit any major plot point areas.
However it was definitely interesting realizing how truly bland their world is. I am so used to colour that I was surprised they lived in a world without it in order to create sameness.
They talk about their feelings at breakfast like they actually have feelings. But they don’t. Not the passionate kind. They are like mild shadows of them. And they talk about them in such a way that they are trying to dismiss them and make them go away.
There is so much that they have sacrificed and gotten rid of in the name of creating peace and harmony. I’m not truly sure that it is worth it.
The ending was odd I found. It almost kind of felt like a religious encounter near the end. Coming into a town in the dead of night on Christmas eve with a baby with you. It had religious tones that kind of set me off. I’m not a religious person, just to give you some perspective.
For the most part though I never truly felt attached to the characters, and for me this is a problem. The premise was interesting enough to keep going but the characters where mostly flat, like the lives they led. The book was conceptually based and driven.
While I liked the book well enough, I don’t think that it is the be all end all of the genre. I think it is a stepping stone and that it opens many doors in different directions. I certainly won’t be basing all of my reading off of this one sample of dystopia and holding it up as the pinnacle of success.