Publication Date: April 26, 1993
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Series: The Giver Quartet, Book One
Pages: 225 pages
Buy It: Amazon
Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a precisely choreographed world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice . . . or choice.
Everyone is the same. Except Jonas.
At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community’s twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chose for something special. He beings instruction in his life’s work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test–when he must try to save someone he loves– he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?
I absolutely love Lois Lowry’s writing in this novel. It’s a beautifully crafted story that has stuck with me in the days since I’ve read it. And we all know those are the best kind of books. To be honest, this book is rather heartbreaking. But it’s also very touching in the fact that a twelve year old boy made a gigantic sacrifice for the good of his people and to save another boy who had no chance. I loved the main character Jonas, from start to end. The world that Jonas lives in comes off as a utopia, at first. There is no unemployment, no war, no pain. But then comes the realization that they also have no choice, no freedom, no love. They do not choose their own occupation, their spouse, they do not have their own children.
Can you imagine a world in which you could not control your own life? Make choices for yourself and what you wanted? That is the world that Jonas lives in. It brings forth a question that I think is very important. Would you be willing to sacrifice those things for utopia? Because I know I would not. I will definitely need to reread this soon. I believe it’s one of those books that you will learn more from the more you read it. The world building was great, the characters were awesome and fit their roles nicely, this novel was just great.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this. It’s a novel about growing up and realizing that the world is not perfect and that even in a world that is supposedly perfect, things are wrong. It is definitely an emotional read and will leave you thinking about the events that take place.