Dystopia (Teen), YA Fiction

The Giver by Lois Lowry

When I heard the movie was coming out, I immediately rushed to the library to reread this book so that I could compare the book to the movie. Reading the book reminded me of how much I loved it. This was probably the first book I read on a dystopian(ish) society and it made a strong impression on me. So here goes my review:

Jonas lives during a time of peace. Everyone is the exact same and there is an emphasis on humbleness, complete honesty, and usage of precise language. In his community, everyone is assigned a job at the age of 12 through a graduation ceremony. The Elders watch the children all their lives in order to determine what their future career should be. As Jonas approaches his graduation day, he finds himself anxious; there is no one job that he shows a higher affinity for than others. On the day of the ceremony, Jonas is given a special role, one that no one has had for a while: he is to be the next receiver of memory. As Jonas begins his training with the old receiver (or the giver, as he likes to be called), he sees memories of a time before and starts to question the life he has lived all this time.

Okay so the book was amazing and deep. It was written simply but carried so much weight! I guess that’s what I liked about it. The different elements of the society and the rules that governed it were so interesting to read about, and at first, it was hard to see what was so bad about them. The thing is, most dystopian novels are told from an adult perspective so you already know what the problem is. Here, told from a child’s perspective, you get the opportunity to discover the problems along with the character, which is pretty rare! Growing up, lots of my friends hated this book and I never understood why. Either way, I’m glad I read it!

The movie was not up to my standards. I felt as if my expectations of the personality of the characters was let down completely. Suffice to say that there were enough changes from the book that it wasn’t too enjoyable for me. Perhaps you will think differently.

Happy reading/watching ~

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