The GiverAuthor: Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver Quartet, Book 1
Genre: YA Sci-fi, Utopia
Published: April 26th 1993 by HMH Books for Young Readers
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is in order and everyone is happy and contented. But the peace he – and everyone else – knows came with a high price. Only one person knows the truth and Jonas is about to become that person.
The Giver is a powerful and thought-provoking novel about the things we take for granted and what we sacrifice in the name of humanity. What I liked most about this book is that even though this is a serious story, it doesn't feel heavy at all. And because this is utopian, there's no dark and gritty that's very common in post-apocalyptic books I've read before. Just the underlying truth that there's more than meets the eye. That even the most perfect world isn't really perfect at all.
I loved how real Jonas's character is. He grew up in a society of rules and order, but he quickly adjusted to his role as Receiver. And even though he was prepared to take on the role, he was willing to admit that he wasn't brave enough for it. His friendship with the Giver and the memories he saw gave him the courage to do what he thought was right. I admired his faith and belief that even though the memories were painful, they were worth to be remembered by the people. And in the end, I wanted to believe that Jonas achieved what he set out and risked his life for.
A really good and brilliant tale. I don't know why I didn't read The Giver before now, but I'm glad I finally did. Every page is a treasure.