Thursday, September 3, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Giver

The Giver By Lois Lowry
Publisher: Ember
Release Date:  January 1st, 1993
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by Jon Rifkin

Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

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 remember really enjoying this book back when I read it in the 7th grade. When I recently went to watch the movie, I realized that I had no memory of it. I didn't remember a lot about this book, but I remember liking it, so I decided to do a reread of it via audiobook. Unfortunately, I don't think this dystopia novel holds up that well. 

Let me explain.

This is one of those books that I think is really important and it influenced a lot of people, but on the whole the book itself is missing a lot of things. This book was first published in 1993 (when I was 3), and at the time there wasn't too much dystopia in books. At least not in children's books, and not the level that is present in the YA market now. I do believe that this dystopia novel paved the way for a lot of books out there. So I think in it's own right The Giver is important, because it was something new and cool back then, and I like that it's still being taught in middle schools in America.

So yes, I think the book is important, but if you forget about its influence and focus on the text itself there is a lot missing that I would like to know. How did the world get to this point? How did they lose color and memory? And what happens to Jonah next? I know that this is a series, but the second one isn't about Jonah so I feel like I needed a little more in this book. I also wanted the world building to be fleshed out a bit more. I couldn't get a really good image of it inside my head. When I read this book as a kid it didn't even occur to me that this was a futuristic society, so when I saw the movie I was kind of confused. I know I'm not alone, because my boyfriend thought the same thing!

If you place this book beside something like The Hunger Games or The Unwind Series, I don't think the plot to The Giver really holds up to those books. The contemporary dystopia novels have something more to them. More information, more characterization, and more about the world that these people live in. I think The Giver was just missing a few things. 

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy rereading this book, but I just didn't find it amazing. 

Happy Reads Everyone!