Jonas’ life is controlled, structured, perfect. In this dystopian society, there is no pain, or unhappiness- however, the citizens also do not know love or true happiness either. All of that is about to change for Jonas. When he turns twelve, and all his friends receive their roles in society, Jonas is chosen as the Receiver, where he collects the memories from the Giver, who pushes them into him. Through these memories, Jonas learns things that were forgotten long ago. He experiences different situations that he has never encountered, and some of them, well some of them are not so nice.
I read this book a while back when I was younger, and I remember that back then I didn’t really think about it, it was just a nice story. Because the movie came out, I decided to reread it, and I am so glad I did. The story itself is great, but Lowry’s writing style creates a childlike innocence to Jonas’ perspective, that it’s almost creepy. It draws the reader into the story.
Of course, there were only a couple of characters I could relate to, as many of the characters didn’t have true emotions. The two that I could most sympathize with were Rosemary and the Giver. The fear she must have felt, and the sadness that must have plagued him… But I’m not going too much into that, because I want to keep this review spoiler free!
Jonas as the main character didn’t really impact the story at all? I mean he wasn’t annoying, but he wasn’t great, in my opinion. It was mostly the plot and the setting that really made the story.
My only complaint with this book was that the beginning was a bit too slow paced. There were some brief moments where I considered putting the book down.
I think what makes me love this book so much is how young Jonas is. It portrays the society that he lives in as so secure and controlled, and that starts from when they’re young. It’s frightening to see how indoctrinated these kids are, and when Jonas is exposed to things from the past, it’s as if he’s living a whole new life.
I don’t know if I want to see this movie… They cast the actors way older than they were supposed to, and as you can see, their ages were important to me. I understand that to have a “successful teen flick” a lot of directors age up the characters, but honestly… I think the appropriate ages would have done just fine. I’ve heard about a lot of changes (including hover crafts? Why?), so I’m conflicted.
But this is an amazing novel that I recommend everyone to read, regardless of how the movie turned out.