The Giver by Lois Lowry
Genre: Young Adult | Fiction Classic | Dystopian
It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.
Twelve-year old Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas discovers that their community is not as perfect as it seems.
“The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.” – Lois Lowry.
“It’s just that… without the memories it’s all meaningless.” – Lois Lowry.
I found the concept of the book absolutely amazing. To be living such a sheltered life that there is not even music, colour, real emotions or memories. And what is so wrong about the idea of that, that it was banned and removed from certain libraries and schools?! Never likely kids are the way they are today. I feel that by not allowing this book to be read is creating the sheltered life in which it revolves around. Rant over.
This was an easy to read book, quite short in length, which I really enjoyed. Like I say above, I found the whole storyline to be fascinating. I felt especially for The Giver, Jonas and Gabriel. The rest of the characters were very much robotic, living under the strict rules of Sameness.
A part of the story which got to me the most was the notion of “The Release”. I already had an idea what this was about, but also thought that maybe anyone who was “released” went on to “Elsewhere”. The community in which Jonas lived painted such a pretty picture of when people were “released”; they made it sound like something that should be looked forward to. Although I also had my doubts about what really happened, when Jonas’s father injected that poor twin baby, putting him down as if he were an animal, I still felt disgusted. I could totally understand Jonas’s anger and why he needed to get out. Deep down I also did not want anything to happen to Gabriel. Although he wasn’t a huge part of the storyline, that little guy tugged at my heart strings, and when it came to light that he too would also be “released”, I was rooting for Jonas to get him out of that horrible community.
Overall I give the book 4 hearts. It was nicely written, and I would recommend anyone from the age of 12+ to give it a go. It definitely does not deserve to be a banned book; if people think that this book is in any way disturbing, they have certainly led such a sheltered life themselves!