Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Messenger” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  58,189 ratings  ·  4,744 reviews
Strange changes are taking place in Village. Once a utopian community that prided itself on its welcome to new strangers, Village will soon be closed to all outsiders. As one of the few people able to travel through the dangerous Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village's closing and try to convince Seer's daughter to return with him before it's too late. But Fore ...more
ebook, 169 pages
Published April 26th 2004 by Harcourt Brace and Company (first published January 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Messenger, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Charlie Vogel
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I did love this book, I was so happy to find out what happened to Jonas and Gabe after the heartbreaking ending of The Giver. One criticism is that while I found the sub-plot of the Trademart to be very interesting it seemed to just fade off without any explanation. Where did the Trader come from? How was he able to take a persons inner-most self...was it magic? Kira, Leader and Matty all seem to have magical powers...where did their powers come from. Their world seems to be ours...there are ref ...more
Arrrrrgh! (In the best way...)

I was 15 pages from the end and said to my husband, "I don't see how this is going to end!"

So when I get to the end, I moaned, and he asked whether it was a bad ending, to which I replied, "Really good--but bad."

And that is all I can tell you. This is one you really must read if you have not. I think I might even read it again to really "get" it.

If you can, start with The Giver and go right through to Gathering Blue and then Messenger. I have not enjoyed a related
Here's the second companion piece to The Giver. I liked this one better than the first, Gathering Blue. Actually, it had potential to be a great book, but it's like Lowry forgot her plot lines and things just fell off at the end of the book.

The first two books, The Giver and Gathering Blue deal with utopian societies. This book takes place in a village with all the outcasts from these utopian societies. It's called the village of the Broken, people with some deformity, disfigurement or handicap
Sep 15, 2007 Debbie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Messenger is the third book after The Giver and Gathering Blue. Readers who were dissatisfied by the vague ending of The Giver will appreciate the glimpse of Gabe and Jonas' important role as Leader of Village.

Matty, who befriended Kira in Gathering Blue, is the main character in Messenger. He is anticipating earning his true name, which he hopes will be Messenger. He knows all the paths of the mysterious forest, which becomes more and more sinister as the story progresses. Village, under Jonas
I'm a bit torn on this. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the two previous novels in this "series," but it had such a powerful ending and the extreme geek in me was so excited that it united all three of the books together in such a good way... It's just hard for me.

Matty didn't appeal to me as much as Jonas or Kira had in the previous novels, and while his struggles were interesting I felt it focused entirely too much on the journey through the forest while I was really wanting to know more ab
This book was terrible. And stupid.

It pains me to say so, because (as everyone likely knows by now) The Giver is one of my most favorite books of all time. In this book, we get to see Jonas again (and even Gabe, for a moment) so I thought for sure it would tie things together and give me some emotional resolution. And while it was good to see what happened to Jonas (even though he is never called by that name in this book, it's clearly Jonas) there were too many other major flaws for me to enjoy
With the Messenger, there are a few familiar faces, but it is kind of a brand new setting.

We follow Matty, after his dog Branch has died, as he lives in the village with Lira's blind father, named the Seer. Gradually Matty starts noticing changes in those around him and while the village was once welcoming to those who were escaping, they now do not want newcomers.

I'm still not sure what to make of this series. It seems each book could be read on their own and there is very little overlap. I am
Nov 08, 2007 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Giver
The third (and final?) installment of The Giver books. The Giver was more uptopic/dystopic worlds, Gathering Blue had a Sci-Fi feel, and this one was more fantastical. I enjoyed it very much.

One complaint: if I met the reader on the street (I audio booked it) I would say, "Hey guy, SLOW DOWN! St. Elsewhere has been cancelled; what are your rushing off to?"

Addendum: The more I thought about this book since completing it, the more annoyed I became. It just ends so abruptly. What happened? I know w
I am speechless. This book has literally blown my mind away. This is the third book written by Lois Lowry, after "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue". If you were dissatisfied with the end of The Giver, I highly recommend this book, as you'll realize what has truly happened to Jonas and Gabe.

The "Messenger" focuses on Matty, a character who briefly appeared in "Gathering Blue". We can see that everything is doing fine in the village he is currently living, but something ominous is approaching. Is n
Aug 17, 2007 Ngoc rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mario
I LOVED The Messenger! Now I finally understand how it is a companion novel to The Giver and Gathering Blue. It is just fantansic how Lois Lowry separates the three villages, showing how the flaws of Jonas and Kira's towns had flaws which can tear people apart and in Village where people are drawn together, caring for one another in community. What happens when selfishness, jealousy, vanity, greed, pretty much the seven deadly sins come into play: The Messenger is heart-wrenching and the ending ...more
This sequel is set in the same fictional-but-strangely-like-our-own world as The Giver and Gathering Blue. In it, in another lively and exciting story, Lowry continues to examine ideals and problems of socialism. She also brings in a heated immigration debate. I've really enjoyed the whole group of these books.

However, the very end of this one made me mad. I don't know what I expected, and I probably wouldn't have minded it, actually, except that she chose to include some hints earlier in the bo
Messenger is the last in the trilogy that commenced with the ever popular The Giver, and which then was followed by Gathering Blue. Unfortunately the first two novels proved to be difficult acts to follow successfully, in my opinion. This story seemed somewhat contrived, haphazard and written with less creative flow. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions by the end, and felt slightly ripped off and let down. Ultimately I feel the story had the potential to be so much more. Ah, well, I wo ...more
This book is really good you finally find out what happened to Jonas and Gabe. The end is pretty good but you may be disapointed. The forest is finally at peace.
Messenger is the third installment in author Lois Lowry's young adult, dystopian series: The Giver Quartet. It was so nice to see how these books are beginning to thread together. I was wondering for a while if each book was more like a standalone experience versus an ongoing story, but now I know!

Messenger is my favorite in this series so far. It enjoyed seeing familiar characters, and I felt more emotion while reading this one than I did the others. The dystopian world many authors in this ge
Keith Hall
Okay, so upon completing The Giver trilogy, I was a little upset. Within the first few chapters all three books were tied together. I have three questions after reading it:
(The following questions contain spoilers)
1) How were the changes occurring? - While it was clear that the Trade Mart was the root of the evil, it was never clear how that all operated. The Mentor traded his deepest inner self, but were the others trading the same? Whatever it was, their trading for comfort, ease and entitlem
Reference: The Giver (book #1), Gathering Blue (book #2), Messenger (book #3)

Let me begin to tell you that I had to re-align my thinking since book #2 because for some reason I had a wrong name in mind. I was quick to forget that the main character in book #1 was Jonas. For some reason when reading book #2 and saw the name Christopher, I pictured Jonas. So throughout book #2 and most of book #3 Christopher was Jonas to me. You can imagine how the story must have been different for me. I suppose
I was not impressed with this follow up book to The Giver and Gathering Blue. I felt no emotional ties to this book or the characters even though the characters were not new to the story. This totally missed the mark for me. Hopeful that Lowry will finish strong in the final installment to this series. I only recommend this book if you want to have a few answers from book 1. Did not like the plot at all!
Messenger brings us right back to where we left off from Gathering Blue six years later... Matty is living in Village with Kira's blind father. All of the previous characters come together to pull the universe back to where it started from.

Village has always welcomed anyone and everyone to their community, and helped these individuals and families assimilate into freedom. Currently, Village wants to close the wall and not to allow any more people into their community. Matty has to journey back t
This is the third of the Giver series. It is a very different book from the first two. There are more fantastic/magical elements here, and it's kind of depressing. OK, like, actually depressing. Messenger brings up the issues of dis/ability and inequality again. And, this is an interesting portrait of dystopia/utopia. As a person long interested in both, I loved the way that the dystopia shifts toward a happier world in Kira's village, and the utopia of Village - which is, in so many ways, just ...more
Lowry really needs to work on her endings.

Gathering Blue had one of the worst endings I have ever read, rushed and so weak, I got the impression that she just didn't feel like writing anymore towards the end. Messenger is no different.

But let me not get ahead. Messenger picks up Matt's story, one of the characters from its companion book Gathering Blue. He's older now, called Matty, and has left his old home to live in village, where everybody is welcome. But things are changing around the villa
Jillian McAdams
A book loosely related to The Giver and Gathering Blue, both of which I highly recommend. Unlike the Utopian societies in The Giver and Gathering Blue, Messenger deals with the outcasts of society. Through the main character Matty, the reader learns to embrace our unique gifts. Lowry does an amazing job of painting the three societies and connecting them all in the smallest ways.


The Giver
Gathering Blue
Matty has gone to live with Kira’s father in Village—the all accepting, peace loving and healing place that is on the other side of the forest. Here everyone gets a new name when they are of age, and Matty hopes for “Messenger” when his time comes. He’s always been
good at going through the Forest, which is often inhospitable (adding a bit of a fantasy element to the story). But something is happening in Village, and Matty must go back to his home “town” and get Kira and bring her back to live wi
It's not that this book was bad per se. It is like the others in this series, beautifully written and deals with beloved characters. However, it would be a stretch to say I liked it. First, the plot elements are mystical which has never really happened before and I found totally out of place in the world. The series has toyed here and there with fantastic ideas, but they could be explained, if at a stretch. The Messenger is dealing with things like sentient forests and paranormal powers and it c ...more
I loved this book. I especially loved how it pieced together the previous two and gave away their endings. Matt was a fabulous character. It really made me take a second look at my life and what I was trading for worldly things.

Lines I loved:

Teasing’s part of the fun that comes before kissing.

He knew that there were communities everywhere, sprinkled across the vast landscape of the known world, in which people suffered. Not always from beatings and hunger, the way he had. But from ignorance. F
This one is way up there with The Giver for me! So much potential for classroom discussion, writing activities, etc.--yes, the English teacher in me comes out sometimes. It can be understood on a few different levels, which is something I love in a book. And the allusion to and symbolism of Christ are powerful. I told Kirk if he doesn't read another novel all the way through in the next 5 years, he should read this one. (He and I read The Giver together during the beginning of our marriage and b ...more
Miguel Lugo
Me quedo con el primer libro The Giver aunque quede con el final abierto. A esta saga o trilogía no le encuentro un fin o un por qué a donde fue a parar todo. El primer libro estuvo lleno de sorpresas, giros y cosas que se fueron descubriendo conforme avanzaba, el segundo bajó un poco y se volvió predecible pero el tercero a pesar de ser el mas corto fue predecible de inicio a fin, creo que hay un cuarto libro el cual no pienso leer en un tiempo futuro.

Después de terminar de leer este libro est
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was my favorite of the messenger books; so far, as I’ve just found out that there is a 4th. Part of that is because even though this is a short book, it didn’t come off that way. The smaller stories and back-story within it gave it solid depth. I was extremely interested throughout the entire book. The first 2 Giver books were great but I wasn’t nearly as 110% hooked across those books from page 1 to the end. That said, this wasn’t an ending I was prepared for. I was shocked, didn’t expect ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anna by: series
This story is the flipside of the second book in this quartet

“There were no secrets in Village. It was one of the rules that Leader had proposed, and all of the people had voted in favor of it. Everyone who had come to Village from elsewhere, all of those who had not been born here, had come from places with secrets. Sometimes—not very often, for inevitably it caused sadness—people described their places of origin: places with cruel governments, harsh punishments, desperate poverty, or false com
Aug 12, 2007 Shaylece rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book is the third and final in the trilogoy of the future written by Lois Lowry. This is the book that ties The Giver and Gathering Blue together. This is where the two stories of self realization come together and connect with each other to form one more lesson of learning who you are and how you are supposed to use your own unique gifts. I have read this book more than once also, and I love it every time. Just like The Giver and a couple parts of Gathering Blue though, it made me cry a li ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Among the Free (Shadow Children, #7)
  • The Diamond of Darkhold (Book of Ember, #4)
  • The Goodness Gene
  • Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3)
  • UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
  • Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2)
  • Prized (Birthmarked, #2)
  • This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)
  • Rip Tide (Dark Life, #2)
  • The Wednesday Wars
  • Away (The Line, #2)
  • The Land of the Silver Apples (Sea of Trolls, #2)
  • The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5)
  • The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards, #3)
  • Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World
  • The Bar Code Rebellion (Bar Code, #2)
  • Things Hoped For (Things, #2)
Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always
More about Lois Lowry...

Other Books in the Series

The Giver Quartet (4 books)
  • The Giver (The Giver, #1)
  • Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2)
  • Son (The Giver, #4)
The Giver (The Giver, #1) Number the Stars Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2) Son (The Giver, #4) Gossamer

Share This Book

“Teasing's part of the fun that comes before kissing” 143 likes
“He wept, and it felt as if the tears were cleansing him, as if his body needed to empty itself.” 134 likes
More quotes…