I've always wanted to read the giver, especially because its touted as the first dystopian type book published. I'm too old for it to have been requirI've always wanted to read the giver, especially because its touted as the first dystopian type book published. I'm too old for it to have been required literature in high school. To me, its kind of a classic, so I wanted to read it. I'm not disappointed I read it. Its a very quick read, which is totally entertaining without being action packed. The world building is simple but complete. I think its a very engaging and thought provoking read. As I made my way through it I noted many similarities to the Matched trilogy, primarily the first book. In The Giver, a community where freedom of choice and emotions has been eradicated. The community developed in such a manor so people could be relaxed, never have to experience pain or have anxiety over making the right choices. In the end, the only people who experienced true feelings or emotions were The Giver and The Receiver. The Giver was the keeper of all the old memories and The Receiver would be the one to eventually take The Giver's place. The story was written quite simply, however, the meaning behind it all was very deep. Its told in a third person narrative from the perspective of a young twelve year old boy called Jonas. Jonas is intelligent, wise and brave beyond his years. Before his ceremony of 12's, his life was carefree and bliss. Then, he is assigned to become the new Receiver and things just go downhill from that point as he is forced to discover things like pain, starvation and hopelessness. Its all probably way more than any twelve year old can endure. Jonas's best friend Asher is a comical boy. He's whimsical and has an uncanny knack for using the words out of context. I loved his innocence. Gabriel, is an infant who is at risk for being "released" from the community because he's not able to sleep for the night. Jonas' family ends up nurturing him for a second year, where if he catches up he will be assigned to a family in the following year. Most of the characters were hard to get to know intimately. I found the only one I had a real connection to was Jonas. This was probably because I always got to see in his head and know what he was thinking. I also appreciated the Giver. He was a grandfatherly type of person who really did hold Jonas' best interest in mind. When I turned the final page, I can't say I didn't truly appreciate the value of this novel. It really did make me think. Lots of ideas, idealisms and politics play a part in this book. The only problem I had with the story is the ending was left wide open. I can't say I really understood it. If I'm supposed to conjure my own ending, then in my mind I design a happy one. The author really just left me so unsure of the fate of our main characters I was a little let down with the conclusion. I do understand this is a series. I just have no clear picture on where this story may be headed next, which was all just slightly frustrating to me. ...more
This is the best book EVER!!! I think its going to be one of my top ten favorite life time reads. I'm not a big historical fiction fan. Who would haveThis is the best book EVER!!! I think its going to be one of my top ten favorite life time reads. I'm not a big historical fiction fan. Who would have ever thought I'd fall in love with a book written about Hitler Germany? This is an amazing and very powerful book. Its told in a third person, omniscient narration, by DEATH! Yes, Death, is the one who tells this heartbreaking tale of one, Lisiel Merminger of Himmel Street. Having death narrate the book gives readers the perfect perspective. Death, actually was traumatized by humans. He did his job, but it wasn't an easy one, especially when wars were killing off humans by the thousands. Death also used colors to describe his emotions and feelings which was a rich addition to the story. It added another layer of understanding. What I loved so much about this book were the characters. These people really made me feel some, each and every one of them. They were all so kind hearted and selfless. Liesel Merminger, aka the book thief, melted my heart from the very beginning. At such a young age she'd already witnessed death and suffered so much pain. She's timid and fearful, but changes into a fierce and fearless heroine by the end of the book. I adored her interactions with her friend Rudy Stiener from down the street. She was a determined girl, a tomboy and one who doesn't stand down to a challenge even if its a boy. Rudy on the other hand, was the perfect boy down the street. He pretty much had the biggest heart of all. His crush on Liesel was evident and so touching from the very beginning. I think every young girl deserves to experience the love of a boy like Rudy. He would do anything for Liesel and was always by her side, even if it meant jumping into frigidly cold rivers to rescue books! He's definitely a knight in shinning armor. He cared for everyone, even his enemies and was willing to risk being beaten just so the Jews could have bread. Then, there was Papa. He was Liesel's rock. In the beginning he recused her every night from her nightmares, taught her to read and made her feel like the best daughter a man could ever wish for. I loved how he breathed life into his accordion and how he always knew the right thing to say in any circumstance. He loved everyone, treated all people fairly and with respect. He was a great man, we need more people in the world like Hans Huberman, then and only then would the world be a much better place. There are so many other special characters, too. But I only have time to highlight one more: Mama (Rosa Huberman). She took Liesel in as her foster daughter and ended up treating her like her own daughter. She has a very hard exterior shell, never knows how to show her true feelings and LOVES to yell and curse. However, after reading the story, we all know this woman really did care and underneath all the rough exterior she really did have a heart of GOLD. This story was so amazingly good, I was almost depressed when I turned the last page. The characters were so well written they almost felt like kin. I will miss the world, the people and the wonderful story. Its a story I learned a lot from. It doesn't have a very happy ending, but I recommend this book to any and all readers. I can't imagine a person would wouldn't appreciate this fabulous story. If a story can make me feel, evolk emotions and make me care, then I fell like its a great book and this one definitely exceeds that criteria....more
I didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The TwiI didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The Twilight Series. A friend at work strongly recommended it, then a discussion about the book on a thread by Mundie Moms caught my eye. She and another fellow blogger Haley seemed to rate this one very highly. So, I decided these two gals probably knew what they were talking about. I put myself on the long wait list and the digital library and I was surprised by how quickly my name came up. This particular book is primarily about a witch, called Diana Bishop who is descended from a prestigious line of witches. Diana is almost ashamed of being a witch, ever since her parents were murdered when she was a small child. She didn't even bother to keep up on developing her witchcraft and did everything under her power to behave like a human. Diana is also a professor at Yale university. She's researching a talk she's going to be delivering on alchemy. One evening, not unlike any other, Diana is at the library studying. One of the old manuscripts, she requests ends up behaving very strangely. The writing seems to be moving on the page and the book appears to be begging her to open it and read what's inside. Diana, still against using her magical powers, passes on what the book has to offer and ends up re-shelving it. The only problem is, the book is far more important than she realizes. Every since her encounter with the book demons, witches and vampires have be tracking her. One vampire in particular, Mathew Clairmont, ends up pursuing her, primarily to find out more about the manuscript and what evolves is a first a cautious friendship then a romantic relationship. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this book has in store for these characters. The story is set in Europe. Pacing for this one is quite slow. Its a very lengthy book and I felt it. That's not to say this wasn't a book I loathed to read. Quite the opposite, the pacing seemed perfect for the story. It slowly developed slowly in its delicate complexity. It told in a first person narrative through Diana's eyes, occasionally though it switches to third person from Mathew's perspective. The main characters in the story are Diana and Mathew. Diana, a professor at Yale, is extremely intelligent. She's a historian and loves researching and alchemy. As the book progresses so much is revealed about Diana that she becomes a very rich and vibrant character. I loved her bravery and her fierceness. She ends up being able to endure incredible amounts of animosity and pain. Plus, she's fairly grounded despite everything she learns about herself as the book moves forward. Mathew is a vampire who is over 1000 years old. That alone sparks my interest. He impressive, patient, powerful and does an incredible job of exercising restraint. Its evident he's a cold blooded killer and that alone makes me a little fearful of his character. However, as the story moves along, we learn a wealth of information about Mathew and after I got to know him throughout the book, I trusted him much more towards the end. There are numerous other characters that play substantial roles in the story and we also have the quite a few gay characters involved in the plot. So, one could definitely say this is a very diverse book and I think part of its message is to say its ok to fall in love with anyone, race, culture and breed should not matter. My favorite aspects of this book were the complexity of the plot and all of the amazing in depth backstory. Lot of history is involved in this. I was totally entertained by all of the powers Diana slowly began to command. There are so many twists and turns, plots and subplots. One part of the story which bothered me somewhat is I felt the romance in the foreground. I had plenty of interest in the manuscript and what was inside, discovering Diana's powers and especially the mystery of her parent's death. There was much more I enjoyed than not, but I still wish the romance was slightly more in the backdrop. The ending isn't abrupt. It doesn't complete the story, but it definitely wraps up on a quiet note. It leaves the reader yearning to know what's to come. I can't wait to read the next installment of this series and lucky for my I'm already on the waiting list at the digital library. I would recommend this book to patient readers who don't mind very long, somewhat slow paced books. If you are a reader looking for an in depth story with rich characters and plenty of plot to keep your imagination piqued than this is your book. It holds so much mystery, I think that is the draw and what makes it so engaging....more
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is enchaFour and 1/2 Stars.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is enchanting, magical and completely mesmerizing. Every time I opened this book, I found myself absorbed in the world she created unfolding in Henrietta, Virginia. Some of her word choices were amazing. Sometimes I had to keep a dictionary close by, just so I could learn the meaning of some of her vocabulary words. This is one of those books where the author weaves a complex plot. Initially, its quite confusing, written in a third person narrative with numerous viewpoints. Each character has a distinctive voice, so it wasn't difficult to figure out who was narrating. About a quarter of the way into this story, things started coming together and making a lot more sense. Maggie knows how to craft an unbelievably complex and detailed plot. Characters in this story where rich and vibrant. It was easy to get to know them all as the writing allowed the reader to really get in each ones heads. Blue, is the daughter of a psychic. Her entire bloodlines posses psychic powers, but somehow Blue does not. Instead, she's what you'd call an amplifier, making everything in the paranormal world louder. She is faced with quite a conundrum. All of her life she's been told that she will kill her first love when he kisses her. I really sympathized with Blue. With this prophecy looming over her, she really doesn't want to get close to a guy, but I can't say I blame her. I liked Blue's kind heart, especially evident in her treatment of Noah and her strength and perseverance. She always stood up for herself, despite her background, she put those Aglionby boys in their places. Gansey, is an affluent young man attending a prestigious private school called Aglionby. Right from my first encounter with this boy, I knew I liked him. His vocabulary and voice were impeccable, respectable and commanded to be listened to. Although he's rich, he's really striving to make a difference. He doesn't want to be known for his money. Ronan, one of Gansey's friends is very standoffish and dangerous. At first I really didn't like him, he's very abrasive and brash. As the story progressed and I got to know him better, he quickly wormed a way into my good graces. Adam, another one of Gainsey's good friends is on scholarship to the prestigious private school of Aglionsby, I immediately was drawn to him and his plight. He's the underdog and I usually end of rooting for guys like him. The final friend of Gaisey, is the meek and quiet Noah. He's barely noticeable. What little I got to know about him, I liked. He seemed genuine and caring. This story involves, friendships, magic, fantasy and mystery. I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger. None-the-less it still was very powerful and did leave me dying to read the next book....more