I was very suprised by this book. I read it at a time when I didn't really think I liked much fantasy, and I didn't really have very high hopes for th...moreI was very suprised by this book. I read it at a time when I didn't really think I liked much fantasy, and I didn't really have very high hopes for the book, but wow. This book was incredible. I loved reading it, and found myself lost within the world and the lives of the characters. A little easier to read than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (that I'm still not all the way finished with... I kept losing the third book, and finally gave up to try again later...) Anyway, I really liked this book, and will read it again when I finally decide to finish off the trilogy. I enjoyed this book a lot, and actually look forward to reading it again. (less)
I really think I need to read this book again. I don't think I was at an age or frame of mind to enjoy this book when I read it before. I read it for...moreI really think I need to read this book again. I don't think I was at an age or frame of mind to enjoy this book when I read it before. I read it for a class in high school english at the same time we watched a movie, and I know I didn't want to enjoy it, which, or course, means I didn't. I've read a bit more Steinbeck since then, and I think that if I really were to go back and try it again I might like it more.(less)
I thought this book was brilliant. The idea of time presented in this book is intriguing. Although the story is at times odd and disjointed, it worked...moreI thought this book was brilliant. The idea of time presented in this book is intriguing. Although the story is at times odd and disjointed, it worked well. I recommend this book to everyone because it's unique, different, well written, and just plain cool. It's definitely one I'll be reading again. (less)
The Giver by Lois Lowry is a reread for me. I originally read it as a sophomore in high school and I was pretty neutral about it. I don't think it was the type of book I was really in the mood for and I know that I sped through it really fast (because reading only 3 chapters a night in a book this small was torture for a kid like me) and I admit that I read it a bit grudgingly. I was never that kid that hated a book because I was forced to read it. There were a few books I didn't particularly enjoy reading, but this is the only one, in all my years of schooling that I remember not liking because they made me read it.
I read the companion novels, Gathering Blue and Messenger and I simply loved them. So I figured that I must have missed something within The Giver and I decided that I would reread it sometime. But, in the meantime, I will also admit that I claimed to like The Giver as much as I had liked the other two books, but I'm admitting now, that it wasn't true. Then.
Now, however, that's all behind me and OH MY GOODNESS! I'm sitting here, staring at my 15 year old self in shock wondering why on Earth I didn't love this book. Because it is amazing. Far too amazing for the words I'm going to use to adequately describe this book.
Here is a book that makes you wonder, makes you think, makes you question. It follows a young boy, Jonah is not quite 12 when the book starts, and the whole story takes place in just over a year. We watch as Jonah is transformed from a young, naive boy into someone who has wisdom and understanding thrust upon him. Most of you reading this review have either already read The Giver or I'm sure you've heard about it from someone. So, it might be that it's impossible for me to spoil anything for you. BUT I think the way Lowry has written and crafted this story is so important, so powerful and so impactful when read 'right' that I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. So there is a lot I'm leaving out, a lot I'm leaving for you to discover, or rediscover, as I did, all on your own.
You learn in the beginning of the story that the world Jonah lives in is full of structure, rules, regulations, and careful, careful planning. Every detail of their lives is planned by the Elders. Everything is meticulously planned and there are no deviations from this. They are taught from a very young age how they are to live, how they are to be. And no one questions anything, because none of them know any better.
The only question I have about the story is something I can't address in a review like this, because while not, perhaps, an actual spoiler, it does contain something of the story that I think needs to be revealed to the reader, one page, one thought, one memory at a time. I wish the idea of memory had been explored a little deeper in the novel but I find the idea behind it utterly fascinating. Definitely very Jungian though. Makes you wonder. :) (Any of you know what that means? Or am I the only Psych nerd :P)
So really, what I guess I'm trying to say here is that this is a novel worth reading and it is defintiely a novel worth reading again and again. I imagine that there is much Jonas can teach me, about life and what makes it worth living and about what I'm willing to sacrifice in exchange for comfort and whether I have the right to make certain choices for later generations. It's a book to make you think, a book to make you feel and one that I can already tell is going to draw me back for a reread again and again. It is not to be missed.(less)
Wow. This book is creepy. Very interesting subject matter that was handeled very well. It talks a lot about the Psychology of the mind (which as a Psy...moreWow. This book is creepy. Very interesting subject matter that was handeled very well. It talks a lot about the Psychology of the mind (which as a Psych major interests me!) but it also talks about what we need to give up in order to live 'perfect' lives. I never thought would actually be grateful for the flu! I do really like that the person you think is going to be the main character isn't. It is definitely one of the main characters, but there is one other character that is more important. A great book!
****I was thinking about this book today, and felt that I needed to update my review. I think that this is one of the scariest books that I have ever read, because this is a scary story that might come true. I hear people all the time who talk about 1984 as this horrifying book because it might happen. And I agree- to a certain degree. It was a fantastic book, but it doesn't scare me in the same way Brave New World does. 1984 marks what could have happened if certain wars had ended differently, but Brave New World marks something that could still happen. The things controlled in BNW are places that I have seen America and other coutries go. Eugenics was a big deal in the history of the world, and designer babies are something that have been talked about for years and the development of technology simply gets us closer to that. A society dependent on drugs to dull pain, end confusion or distress and turn your whole world into a rose-colored land of peace, love and pleasure sounds like something that would be incredibly appealing to an awful lot of people. I think it would take a long time to reach this point, as I do with all dystopian cultures, but I see the seeds of this book already rooted in our culture and that scares me, because very few of the people I've discussed this book with see them as threats.
***Additional update- I saw a story on the news today about a scientist who believes that he created an artificial LIVING cell in a bottle. CREEPY!!(less)
This book is really close to getting 5 stars from me. This is a great book! The beginning and the end are absolutely fantastic. This book deserves at...moreThis book is really close to getting 5 stars from me. This is a great book! The beginning and the end are absolutely fantastic. This book deserves at least 4.5 stars, but there was a small section in the middle of the book that didn't hold my interest as much as the rest of the story, which is the only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars. I loved the character of Winston, and O'Brien is also amazing. This book makes me afraid of the direction the future could take, and really glad of the direction the past took. Definitely worth the read!!!(less)
Interesting book. I loved the idea behind this, and the thought that must have gone into this book. The idea here is very Hobbesian, and very believab...moreInteresting book. I loved the idea behind this, and the thought that must have gone into this book. The idea here is very Hobbesian, and very believable. I did actually really like the book, but I didn't always love the writing. The writing style, especially in the beginning is why the book is 3 stars instead of 4. I liked the second half more than the first, but overall, I thought the book was great. I wish I had read it sooner, and I know I will read it again. It feels like the type of book that you notice new things in each time you read it, and gets better everytime. (less)
This book was different. It really takes you around the loop a few times. I felt just about everything there is to feel about a book while reading thi...moreThis book was different. It really takes you around the loop a few times. I felt just about everything there is to feel about a book while reading this book- chilled, amused, angered, heart-broken, intrigued, and disappointed, and I'm sure if I thought about it, I could come up with a few more words. Enjoying isn't exactly the best word, given the subject matter and the sorrow of this book, but I was really 'enjoying' the book in the beginning. The writing was amazing- full of intense, realistic descriptions that really made the story come together and begin to swell and grow. In the beginning, I understood the big deal about this book. The book wasn't what I was expecting, and that was both good and bad. Rather than a story about a specific event or situation, this was a story about a family and how their lives were changed because of one hugely horrific event. I didn't notice it in the beginning, it bothered me in the middle, but by the almost end (after the book started to seriously piss me off, but before I became disappointed with the golden (and creepy) ending) I appreciated the method of story telling. It was a story of a family, told by the member who would never truly be able to take part in it again. In the middle of the book, when the family is not sure if it is falling apart or staying together, something happened that angered me, and that one moment, although I definitely saw it coming, changed my enjoyment of the novel. Now, I was angry at where the story was going, and hated the character that took it there. That was almost ok though. I didn't like what was happening, but I understood it, and it was a part of the story, and a part of the character. However, I hate that Alice Sebold cheated her readers at the end of the story. I won't give details, because I don't want to leave spoilers in my review, but the ending was wrong for this story. I know that it isn't my story to tell, and therefore I can't really say it is right or wrong, but I'm doing it anyway. The ending was wrong. The entire story was about pain and learning and growing through that pain, accepting what has happened, or at least learning to live with it. Instead of living up to the story, the author wraps up nearly every single story line into a pretty package of pleasantries and perfection. I felt that she denied me a true story, because she denied me a logical and plausible ending for the lives of her characters. After setting this difficult and complex stage, she made the ending far too easy for everyone, and that just didn't work for me. The story had a lot of potential, and seemed in the beginning to be everything I had hoped and expected it to be, but in the end, it was none of those things because it denied what the rest of the book tried to teach. Many of the characters within the story had problems within their lives because they denied what their life experience had tried to teach them. How unfair of the author to not realize this about where she took her story. (less)