The Giver-Book Review

On my article post, a commenter asked if I could do a formal book report on The Giver. I had been wanting to do a nice, long, and rambling review on it, so I'm just going to do a normal review. I hope you don't mind, dear commenter! You shall have the opportunity to see my reports quite often in the future.


Warning: Contains Spoilers

This is the edition I own, in hardcover. I love the artwork. I read this book when I was 13, and I think it would be appropriate for ages 11+, because of some potentially unsettling parts. 

Jonas, a twelve year old boy, lives in a seemingly ideal word, even though it lacks color and the unexpected. When he is chosen as the Receiver of Memory, he discovers the dark secrets that make up the inner working of the community. 


I was very pleased by the storyline. It seems that the typical dystopian novel centers on a teenage girl who is headstrong and kick butt and has a few problems. The catch? Two guys love her.
The Giver was pleasantly different from this commonality, as it centered on a tween boy and had no romance(except you couldn't help but think that Fiona and Jonas would be a cute couple. Guilty me.)

A Hidden Meaning:

The Giver holds subtle imagery that reflects truths about out society. When a child is unwanted or unable to survive without much help, the Community has a "kind" solution: injecting a killing poison into the defenseless body and killing the child.
I couldn't help but think. "Wow. This is what people do now"
I'm surprised this is a popular book on this point.

Another point of this book is the secretive ways the inner structure of the Community operates. This reminds us that we place our trust in high authorities that claim to want the best for the people, but is this really true? 

Why The Giver is different from other popular dystopian fiction:

Most dystopian fiction(well, the bit I've read) seems to  focus on a world-ending war, bombs, firearms, etc. This is a truth that most people would agree, must be attended to. And this is definitely a possible conflict that could be the setting of a dystopian novel.

The Giver focuses on the uncomfortable truths that people don't want to hear about. Would The Hunger Games be so popular if it held so many of these truths? Probably not.(although I love The Hunger Games.)

I recommend The Giver to any reader who likes an engaging and though-provoking read.

Have you read The Giver? Let me know your thoughts below! 
Have a great day!


  1. I have never read that book but it sounds interesting

    1. It is! I bet you would really like it.

  2. Loved your review!
    Awwww yessss the Giver is great. I read it in 6th grade for English class and loved it. Have you read any of the sequels? (I think there were 3?) Also, do you think Jonas died in the end? I think he may have, but Gabe definitely survived, so that makes one wonder whether Jonas did too. Although that may be answered in the sequel about Gabe, which I haven't read.
    Yes, I find the sort of dystopian fantasy that's about dehumanization/lack of feeling becoming a regular part of society more frightening than the stuff that's about bombs and things. I mean the Hunger Games was good, but it felt distant, you know? Like a thing that could never really happen. But with the Giver it's different because it's kind of like what may happen after the Singularity (which is, according to some scientists, the point at which we will start regularly injecting technology into ourselves for purely superficial reasons). It seems similar to something that could actually happen sometime in the future, which, I think, is what makes it effective. I mean like with Hunger Games people like the action and love triangle and stuff but they aren't really like "Wow this is something that could seriously happen if we continue down this path we're on", whereas I feel like the Giver tends to impact people more that way.
    Have you read Number the Stars, another book by Lois Lowry? It's about a young girl trying to save her Jewish friend during the Holocaust. If you haven't read it, I really recommend checking it out.

    1. I started Gathering Blue, and can't wait to read the rest! And I have read Number the Stars for school, it was very good.

  3. Love the review Kathryn! It sounds like a really good book. I think I might try it sometime. ;) Oh, and you've been tagged the 20 TYMNKAM Tag (I had to abbreviate it because the title was too long xD)! You can see it at my blog.
    ~ Suzy | Craftz'n'Craziness
    ~ Suzy

    1. Thank you, Suzy! I'll do that soon.


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