June 20, 2014

Book Review Fridays- The Giver


  I had read this book as part of my required reading in middle school, and had since forgotten about it. It's been quite some time since then. When I found out recently that it was being turned into movie, I decided to revisit a childhood memory. Come to think of it, I don't really think I grasped any of the concepts in the book in my initial read. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on, and why this society lived the way they did.

    Fast forward to now, The Giver  by Lois Lowry definitely was easier to understand than when I last handled these words over a decade ago. It's science-fiction story for young adults, but I think it enjoyable for any age, or maybe I am just saying that make me feel better. 

    The book opens with a description of a black and white strict society bound by rules that dictate a majority of everyday life. Milestones such as birth, marriage, life path are all pre-determined.  These rules are set by the elders of the community. To date, no one has challenged this - that is until Jonas arrives. No, I am not talking about Joe Jonas. Although, that would be nice to see him play the character of Jonas in the movie... or would it? Probably not

 Jonas (the main character) is unable to adjust after he receives some knowledge about his society's past memories. His role in life is to become the "receiver of memories," and the person that held that position previously is about to retire as he has aged now is called the "giver."
So that is who that old man on the cover of the book is. In middle school, I thought it was Jonas in the future or something.

His knowledge of memories opens him up to his society's past, where there was color, less censorship, and individuality.  The current world he lives in requires everything to be the same.

    What he once knows begins to crumble, and he and the Giver decide the society needs their memories back in order to restore the previous way of life. I am guessing they figured out living in black and white is not fun. The only way this can happen is for Jonas to leave the community. His leaving will allow the memories to disseminate across his people. 

    I've always wondered what it would be like to live in a Utopian society, although this seems more of what I'd imagine a communist society to be like. It also reminds of that movie with Reese Witherspoon where everything is in black and white. I can't think of the title.. starts with the letter P.  When I think Utopia, I think colorful, fun, and get reminded of those Fruitopia commercials a few years back, (remember those?). Maybe the description should be changed to utilitarian society, and not Utopian society?

Either way it's a pretty interesting topic that is discussed in the book. Something new, and different. It's definitely worth a read. If you do end up reading it, tell me what you thought of it. 

Score- 4.6 out of 5

If you would like to purchase the book using Amazon.com you can use this link

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