Monday, June 2, 2014

[Review] The Giver by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Published: September 2002
Pages: 180p
ISBN: 9780440219071

Reading Dystopia were often frightened me, especially when I read the original version. I had difficulty to imagine what the authors were talked about. It was because they tended to use words that haven’t exist in my vocabulary (*wink, allow me to make some excuse). Therefore, when I started read the first page of this book, which according to Wikipedia is a Dystopia, I was happy because I found words that I could understand easily. It was very simple because The Giver was made for the young readers. 

This book told a story about Jonas, a young boy, 11 years old who lived with his parents and his sister, Lily, in the Community. The Community was designed by the Elders, the leaders. It was a perfect world where everything was under control with no war, no fear, no pain and no choice. Every adult was assigned a role in the Community. An adult life begun when someone turned 12 years old, the time when they received their assignment. When December came, Jonas was begun to be frightened. He sensed that something terrible was about to happen. He has no idea about the assignment, whether he liked it or not. At the day of the Announcement, the citizen gathered at the Auditorium, and so did Jonas and his family. Jonas was not assigned. He was selected to be The Receiver of Memory, so he must receive special training from The Giver. The Giver was the only one that held the memories of pain, happy and love, the pleasure of life. Through the training, The Giver transferred all the memories to the new Receiver. It was the time when Jonas learned about the truth and it was changed the way he looked into things around him.

Lois Lowry offered an idea that is renowned for these days through books like Hunger Games or Divergent. The idea of the time in the future where everything is under control, where the rules are very strict and where disobedience means death. This is my first meeting with Lowry, so I don’t have any comparison to her other books. But I’m sure that we’ll meet again, because I like her way of storytelling. This book simply portrays human life without choice. It seems safe, but flat. Especially when people don’t have choice or the ability to love each other. Lowry describes the lack of family warmth, inexistence of colors or birds or seasons and other things that make your life not only colorful but also at some level painful. 

The good thing is Lowry provides all the idea very clear and imaginable. It was like part of our world, in the middle of somewhere far from the ordinary human life but approachable. The thing that I couldn’t understand is the unknown of loving. The citizen lives for years with their own family. Isn’t that easy to love your parents or your children or your sister that live at the same house with you? There is no explanation about that. Other than that I am totally like this book. I gave it 4.5 stars.  

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