The Giver - Lois Lowry | 19/03/12 - 21/03/12
“Jonas inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation.
But Jonas has been chosen for something special; when his selection of Receiver of the Memory leads him to an unnamed man - the man called only the Giver - he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.”
The Giver is one of those books that’s called a ‘modern classic’, and I can see why, because I think it was one of the first books which properly investigated the genre of dystopian. It’s one of my favourite genres really, so I was really intrigued to read it, even though it’s more of a childrens book.
It looked at a really interesting way of future community; the black and white world in which Jonas lived, where jobs, mates and children were chosen for a person by someone else. There was no love, no colour, no music, and no real strong feelings. When Jonas was chosen to be the Receiver, and all of these new feelings of everything were given to him, it must have been so hard for him to cope in his community where everyone was so naive.
I think the fact that it was a childrens book made it harder to explore some of the themes, and being used to the main protagonist being the staple age of sixteen as they are in most books, with Jonas being only 11 years old seemed very strange. Sometimes it was very obvious that it was a childrens book and not a young adult/adult book, because some of the themes seemed played down a lot which was a shame.
I think the idea was brilliant but like a lot of books read recently, it had the potential for a lot more. However, I think with this book, and with its short length too, it was much more about the idea and what it makes you think than the way in which it is written.
Overall, I feel that it was a really thought provoking read for what it was, and it really gives the reader a lot to think about.