Genre: YA Classics-Dystopia
My Rating: 5/5
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
This is the second time I've read this book and I love it as much as the first time, maybe more. I have read lots of Dystopians but none of them can rival the exquisite simplicity of The Giver. It's a very refreshing read, a perfect recharge for me to finally start on loving Dystopians once more (I have problems with Dystopians lately). It might be due to the fact that The Giver is one of the earliest books of its genre. So, it is interesting to see how Dystopians have evolved throughout the years.
“The man that I named The Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing.”
It was a much simplistic read compared to modern Dystopians. There were not much sub-plots, government conspiracies (maybe, a little one) and most importantly, no romance. I love how this book shows that you don't need romance to create depth in a character or to make a story flourish because ultimately, the main focus is the conflict in the world itself. And what a fantastic world that the giver lives in! Imagine a world of black and white and societies living in Sameness where everyone has the same things, same opportunities, same haircut and same everything! The idea of world in black and white is so captivating and one that I have given thought of when I was a kid and watching a black and white movie and truly wandering if the people back then do live in a colourless world.
This book has given rise to the thought and once again I'm pondering about a world devoid of colour and what it will feel like. The Giver gave me a glimpse of that feeling.
The society live with rules as black and white as the world is devoid of colours. The people live in a society where there is a clear line between right and wrong. It's a kind of twisted and crazy world. For one thing, soulmates was assigned instead of being chosen by oneself. Also, there is a role in the society called the childbearer where the chosen women were tasked with, well, bearing child(ren). There's also a clear taboo for teenage hormones as we can see from the main character, Jonas who when he developed a feeling for a girl (normal for teenagers) and told his family about it, he was told to take a pill that is going to quench that feeling. It's a very disturbing world indeed.
Jonas is a very believable character that suits his years unlike most Dystopians that sometimes manage to overlook their main characters' age and would appear older, wiser or mature than they should be.
The ending may bothered a lot of people and I admit that I do felt cheated but after some thoughts, I kind of like the ambiguous ending. It gives you things to munch on.
All in all, The Giver is a book that every Dystopians lover (or not) should read. It has a great plot, interesting set of characters and a very captivating world of Dystopia.