The Giver by Lois Lowry: Book Reviewed


'The Giver' book cover.
‘The Giver’ book cover.

In a dystopian future too close to home, Jonas turns twelve and is assigned a job, a role in his seemingly perfect community. But there’s something different this year. Jonas is assigned to be the Receiver of Memory. He is warned of great pain and sorrow to come, feelings he’s never felt before, but he can’t even begin to imagine what will happen when he begins his training, when he meets the Giver.


‘The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past’.

This book is a classic in many ways. Released just over 20 years ago, it’s faded from popularity in the younger generation, but has always stuck with those who read it in their childhood. Now the movie is being released (and this was my push to read it. I will be seeing the movie this Sunday) a younger generation may discover this book. Hopefully.

Because I can see why it’s stuck with people. I enjoyed all the time I spent with these characters. It was written beautifully, understandable, relatable, but poignant and carefully phrased at the same time. I loved the way it was written. So maybe your asking yourself why I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Well that would be because of the length.

I will remember this book. I think it will stick with me to some extent, but I can’t truly love the characters with only 180 pages to get to know them. This book could have been longer. It would put have to be a tome of a book, but give me 200-300 words in a dystopian. I know there are 3 more books following this one, but they aren’t about Jonas, or the people he met. They’re about other people, people who didn’t turn up in ‘The Giver’, in different parts of Jonas’ world. I hear that in the third and fourth books you find out what happens to Jonas, but it’s not about him, not told from his perspective. I needed more of Jonas’ story to get fully involved in it.

So I couldn’t give it 5/5, whether or not the content was to that standard. But don’t let that put you off reading this book. It was brilliantly crafted and worth the short amount of time it takes you to read it.

I will be picking up Gathering Blue, and the following two novels in this quartet at some point in the next year, maybe six months, but not straight away. After all, they are different stories, so remembering the details of the first book isn’t important. I don’t feel like I need to marathon these right now.