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.
I have to admit that I was hesitant to pick up The Giver. It is surrounded by such an enormous hype that I really didn't know what to expect. Finally when the movie came out and the book landed on the toplists again I picked it up at the bookstore. The thing is I still don't know what to think of this book.
My main problem is that the blurb doesn't give much away from what kind of story The Giver is. Is it action packed dystopia novel or rather a sentimental? Not the same. I made a horrible mistake before reading it: I watched the movie trailer and based on that expected an action packed, kick ass novel in which the main character stands up for what's right. Well, this wasn't close to the truth.
The Giver concentrates on the changes inside the characters and analyzes humans as a group and as separate people. Basically the story is about this picture perfect world where everyone follows the rules happily and they all live as one huge family. But everything has a price. The people had given up their feelings, memories and all considered they are rather robots than humans. Here is the important role of the Giver who's the only person who owns the memories of the past. While this means that he has feelings it also means that he had experienced war, starving, pain and everything else. One person can not possibly contain all the memories in himself. Jonah's new job is to take over the Giver's role and with that the memories as well.
Unlike the movie trailer suggests the plot wasn't thick, the things slowly developed and even when huge things started to happen the atmosphere remained calm. However the book never came off as boring. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this world. Unlike many dystopian worlds this actually made sense, I can imagine people choosing to live without pain.
What I liked in The Giver was how it didn't have a concrete villain because everyone thought the same way. What they did and how they did it didn't actually make them into bad people because they didn't know better. All those people had no idea of what they did was morally wrong, this was the normal and the good for them so they could happily carried on with their lives.
I'm really excited to see the movie because from the trailer it seems completely different from the novel. For goodness' sake even the characters are older!
It was surprising how much I ended up loving The Giver (meaning the person). It was wonderful to see how he and Jonah developed a loving relationship step by step. He really thought of Jonah as his son. Interesting, how while he was alone he didn't think that a happier future is within reach but when he saw his younger self reflected in Jonah he realised that they can still have that.
Jonah was a really nice character. It's not everyday when I read a novel from such an innocent point of view. My heart broke for him when he realised he was living in a cobweb of lies. I'm happy he was only twelve because I think in real life children start to understand the world and the people at that age as well.
Favorite character: Jonah, The Giver
Least favorite: -
The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 3/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5