Jonas’ 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.
I won’t lie. I picked up this book because the ‘major motion picture’ is about to come out, and I was curious. A lot of people seemed to read this in high school, and until the movie trailer was released, I’d never heard of this book. And to think of all the books I had to read in high school that I didn’t enjoy, and here was this book that I would’ve loved to have read in high school.
This novel is fast-paced and has an intriguing premise. It is a great children’s book and I can see why kids would love it. However, in saying that, the book probably could’ve been double the size and helped to fill in a few gaps that I noticed. I read this in a few hours and I wanted to know more about The Giver’s memories and about Jonas’ reaction when he finds out what ‘releasing’ entails. I think that there isn’t enough stylistic development between when Jonas makes this discovery and when he runs off with Gabriel.
Although the novel is fast-paced, at times it was a little too quick. The novel is supposed to take place over approximately one year and I didn’t get that from the text. It seemed like one month, maximum. And I feel like the social dynamic between Jonas and The Giver could’ve been explored more, but since this is children’s fiction, Lowry can get away with it.
My Score: 8/10