This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colourless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he’s given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
This classic dystopian is not only timeless but truly enjoyable novel for a anyone and everyone who chooses to pick it up. This book has been on my TBR shelf for over a year after I asked for it for Christmas. I decided to pick it up for the Dewey’s 24 hour readathon since it seemed short and like a quick read.
Initially I was unsure about this book but despite the young male protagonist, I really related to him and lived following on the journey he went on. The character development was amazing, as Jonas went from mindlessly obedient to rebelliously discovering a whole new world that had previously been hidden to him.
This book is a challenging one to read as it really makes you question the world we live in. It makes you wonder which is more important, safety or freedom? Initially Jonas’ world seems perfect but as you continue to read its darker secrets are revealed and honestly it is rather frightening. The most unnerving part of all this is that it’s not a stretch of the imagination to believe in a world like this becoming our own.
The characters are all so interesting as well because know they are morally wrong but you can’t bring yourself to hate them as you know they’ve been brainwashed. Jonas’ dad’s job is a particularly interesting moral dilemma and he simply sees it as doing the right thing for society yet in our eyes, he is committing murder. Throughout the novel, there are sinister undertones that are so subtle you can almost ignore them, but when you think about them, they are shocking to us.
This novel has such a unique cast that really spans the generations, which I think is something that is missing in a lot of books aimed at young people. Not only does Jonas have friends his own age, but a younger sister, baby brother, parents and the Giver. These characters all manage to have their own personalities whilst also all clearly having the society’s view imprinted on them.
The ending to this novel is the cliff hanger of all cliff hangers. I wouldn’t spoil it but simply say everything is uncertain at the end of the novel. I immediately bought the next book but there were no answers to be found there. I think the fourth novel brings the previous three novels together so might finally satisfy my curiosity so I’m looking forward to reading the third and fourth books in this series.
Some parts of this novel are horrifying and shocking whilst others are easy to imagine which is what makes this book such a roller coaster of emotions and such a thought provoking read!
Overall I would say the Giver is a great read for lovers of dystopian and those who have never read dystopia before. Perfect for those of every age and those who love books or hardly read them. This books is any entertaining story that makes you question what it means to be human. It should be required reading for all!