Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review: The Giver



About The Book: 
    Jonas lives in a perfect world. There is no sickness, pain, no wrong, but there is no joy. The Elders of Jonas's community decide everything for the people.  Everyone is given an job in the community, and every year, all of the Twelves are assigned their roles upon the age when children make the transition into adulthood. Jonas is picked for the rare assignment as Receiver of Memory, where he is to receive all of the real memories of joy, pain and happiness from The Giver. 

Things I Didn't Like:

  •     First of all, I wished there could have been a better description of Jonas. Perhaps what he looked like, his habits, shortcomings.... I would have enjoyed to see him grow on a greater scale throughout the book. To grow with a character and really get to know them as you read, is to me, an important thing. You can get more out the book, because you can relate. 
  •     Another thing you all should know is there are a few disturbing scenes throughout the book. There is one scene where Jonas has a particular dream about a girl that he has an attraction to. Which is plainly signs of puberty and is a completely norman thing. The community treats these certain desires with pills, that completely take away the feelings, or "stirrings" as they call them. Everyone takes them when they reach that stage where they become attracted to the opposite gender, even Jonas's parents. This is one of the points Miss Lowry makes to show that the community controls everything, even your thoughts. 
  •     The second thing I found rather disturbing is when the community, "releases" the old when they reach a certain age, if a child is to sick to recover, or if someone commits an unspeakable sin, he is "released", which in short means killed, by an injection or a shot. The scene I found particularly disturbing is when The Giver replays the tape for Jonas of his father "releasing" a baby. The baby was one out of a pair of identical twins, and in the community identical twins are not allowed. So the smaller out of the two is released. Jonas's father gives the baby a shot in the soft part of the baby's head which then kills him. At this point in the book Jonas's makes some of his own decisions, and loses the trust he once had with his parents, especially his father. 


Things I Liked:

  •     Now that I got the upsetting content over, lets talk about the good things.What I got out of the book is that, emotion and feelings are important thing. When God created us he gave us those feelings of love, joy, sadness and peace as very special gifts that we often take for granted. When we allow others to control our thoughts and feelings, like in the "community" we lose our sense of humanity. We become robots. 
  •     I enjoyed the relationship between Jonas and Gabriel, who is a baby which Jonas's father ( a Nurturer of the young) takes into their home to give him special attention and care for his sleeping disorder, if he doesn't overcome the disorder he will be "released". After Jonas is shown the tape of his father "releasing" the twin, he forms a tight and a very special bond with Gabriel and has a sudden compassion that he never felt before receiving memories from the Giver. In the end Jonas finally makes decisions for his and the baby's benefit. 
  •      The books context can really be seen throughout the worlds history. The utopian community can be seen, in slavery in the U.S, when slave owners really created a sense of a utopian community for slaves, when they controlled everything they did and said. Another example is seen in the reign of Hitler during WW2, when he sent Jews to their deaths, just because they were of a different nationality. Or when he killed handicapped people or made it so they couldn't reproduce because of the imperfect children they might produce because of their deficiency.
  •      When Jonas went to the Giver to receive memories, I got to see how Jonas formed a very tight and intimate bond with the Giver. The happy memories that the Giver gave to Jonas were amazing and made me feel a sense of happiness and the feeling of being extremely excited. Also through the bad memories, the Giver was always there to comfort Jonas through the hard times. 
  •     I read this book for school, and in the curriculum I am using, the topic I was studying was on the Roe v. Wade trial of the 1970's and the biblical view of abortion. They had me read this book to get an understanding of abortion through the scenes of "releasing" that were enacted in the book. Abortion in our age is taken very lightly by many people, because they want to be blind to the reality of killing innocent children. The "releases" in my opinion were very very heartbreaking and cruel, and made me understand that abortion is equal to killing a born baby just because of a physical difficulty, as Hitler did many times during the 40's. Just as mothers who commit abortion are being selfish, the community was being selfish in the way that they wanted everything to be "perfect". 
  •     Lastly, I enjoyed the ending immensely! I won't give it away because it was just so happy, and I want you to experience it for yourself if you read the book:) This book gave me things I never would have guessed I would get out of it. I found a sense of respect for human nature, emotion, how important family really is, and the free will that God has instilled in us. 



    I could say so many more things about The Giver by Lois Lowry, but I wouldn't like to give away all the good parts to you all!
 Overall this book was a great read, I rate it 4 stars and recommend it to ages 14+.
This was my first shot at a book review, so please excuse the mess that this post is! Its a hard book to review because of its complexity. I'm very excited to watch the movie and read the sequel, Gathering Blue, and possibly give a review on it as well. 

I hope you all enjoyed the review, and have a great weekend!

Have you ever read The Giver?
Watched the movie?


12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good one!! I enjoyed the movie very much. I have not read the book...yet. Yay! There is a second one...good. It would be nice if they did that one as a movie, too. Great review!

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    1. It was really a good book. Its good to hear that you enjoyed the movie! I'm excited to watch it when its available at the library:) Thanks for your comment, Morgan!<3

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  2. Wow - love this. I really feel like I got a good overall idea of the book!! Great job lady ;)

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    1. Thanks! I wasn't sure how well, I did with the review, since I've never done a book review before! :)

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  3. I read it many years ago, and hated it. I think I need to read it again because no one else agrees with me and I suspect I would probably like it or at least appreciate it a lot more if I read it now. But I did not like the ending because I could not decide what had actually happened.

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    1. Yeah, I understand why someone would not like it, unless they dug a little deeper than the surface. I think the writer ended it very creatively, by leaving the ending up to you, also there is a sequel so that might help. But thats just my opinion:)
      Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Life's timing is so crazy!! I literally JUST finished this book, like, two days ago! I liked reading your review - it gave me some different angles to view the story through! Thanks for posting this :D (By the way, I haven't seen the movie yet. I really wanted to read the book before seeing it!)

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    1. Haha! Thats so funny:) I know! I really like to read the book before I watch its movie! I've done that with LOTR and To Kill A Mockingbird The Book Thief and many more!=D

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  5. I've read this book twice, and honestly I appreciated it more the second time around. It was more deep than I realized it was and it just made me so sad. But, the Giver's relationship with Jonas was just my favorite part of the book, it was so wonderful and beautiful. Lovely review, Clara!

    ~Noor

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    1. Isn't it deep though. It takes awhile to get everything out of it:p Kind of stressful!
      Ah, yes, I really loved the Giver and Jonas's relationship. It was so sweet!

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  6. I love this book so much!!
    Although when it first came in the mail I just about broke down in tears at how small it was. :)
    The movie is very good as well.
    I think that your first shot at a book review went straight to the bullseye. I would love to see more.

    Leah

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    1. IKR! It was pretty small, I really do wish it was longer:p
      Why, thank you for your encouraging comment!!<3

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