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Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to about The Giver absolutely raves about it. So I went into this book with extremely high hopes. And while I see why this could be considered a good dystopian novel with some great core values, I just really don’t understand the hype that comes along with this novel.

I did really enjoy the world that Lowry created. Jonas, a twelve year old boy, lives in a world of “Sameness” It is a world governed by strict rules, structure and conformity. No one knows anything different than what they experience, apart from The Receiver. When Jonas is selected to be The Receiver, he must receive The Giver’s memories of the past. And what he learns shows a world drastically different than Jonas knows.

What I loved most about this novel was the issue raised about the price of happiness, freedom and responsibility. C’mon, it’s a world devoid of feelings and emotion. Brilliant. However, there were quite a few points in this novel where I thought that things could have been more exciting. Quite a lot of it was bland and almost tiresome for me to get through.

I found that there was so much room for character development that did not occur in this novel, as well as general world explanation, and while it is considered ‘children’s literature’ I don’t think that can excuse it.

Overall, I found reading The Giver an enjoyable experience, and I will most likely continue on with the other books at some point in the future, however as a piece of literature, I don’t quite understand the fuss that surrounds this novel.

3 stars.

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