The Giver, Book Review – Lois Lowry


I’ve got mixed feelings about this book.

It started off as a really good dystopian society. All of the rules and such that governed the community were bizarre and spine-chilling. The ‘introduction’ lasted what felt like half the book where nothing was really happening but it was just world building. This wasn’t too bad though because there was a lot of detail to develop and it was really interesting.

However, despite all of the little details, all of the information about this ‘world’ was really shallow and left me with a thousand questions. I feel like this may have been intentional but at the same time I would’ve liked to know a bit more. Perhaps my biggest question is, scientifically how do all these people not have memories or see colour or any of that stuff?? The brain-washed civilisation is one thing but the not seeing colour really got me – I just wanted an explanation. The whole concept of ‘sameness’ was fascinating and repeatedly mentioned but never expanded upon. I’m assuming (hoping) at least some of these questions will be answered in the rest of the series but as a book on its own I thought The Giver was lacking.

In terms of the plot of the book, not much happened until literally the last two chapters. The entire story was developing the background until the second last chapter when suddenly there’s some confusing action.

The last chapter absolutely baffled me. It made no sense. (spoiler) Jonas suddenly leaves early because Gabriel is going to be released. Okay. But then the rest of the book is just him running away to… where? Jonas doesn’t know. The reader doesn’t know. I have no idea!! and then it abruptly ends on some vague mention of is it just an echo? I’m so confused. Like I said before, I’m assuming the rest of the series would make sense of all this but even as a book with a sequel, it feels incomplete.

Overall, as a description of a dystopian society, it was really fascinating to read and I was hooked, waiting for something to happen. The only problem is that, when something finally did happen, I didn’t understand it. So, certainly, not a waste of time reading but I’m not entirely motivated to continue the series. My lack of comprehension goes hand in hand with a lack of investment.

3 stars. – Read with Teens Monthly Book Club