Cortney's Reviews > Messenger

Messenger by Lois Lowry
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May 02, 08

Read in May, 2008

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 that were ousted from their home village now live here. It is a great village where everyone accepts each other, has endless patience and are willing to help anyone along the way. Then these auctions called Trademart starts and it's simple at first, where people trade one good for another. But then people start trading part of their souls to fix their disfigurements. As the villagers become 'normal' their village changes. People mock others behind their backs, no one wants to help others anymore and now they want to close their village to any new outcasts, fearing the village will run out of supplies and resources. A messenger is sent out to all the surrounding places to let everyone know that the village of the Broken is builing a wall and closing itself down. This messenger has a secret too but will it help or hurt the village. And here's where the book falls off a little. The ending is a little anticlimactic, I was really interested in the Trademart aspect and then all of a sudden it wasn't mentioned anymore, it wasn't resolved. But I will say, for the age this book is written for, it is a good read and I think most tweens could get something valuable out of this book.
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message 1: by Inziliel (last edited May 12, 2014 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Inziliel I really think that The Giver and Gathering Blue do NOT show utopian societies...to say so gives the wrong idea, I think. In The Giver especially, it's really more a DYStopian society (though it fancies itself utopian) where the value of people is diminished and expression is purposefully and severely limited.

I suppose one could argue that a true utopia is impossible, but nevertheless, perhaps in some romantic effort stemming from blind hope and optimism, I keep the distinction (at least in my own mind.)

When I originally commented, I hadn't yet read The Messenger...but I did a while after. I think it left a lot of questions unanswered, and it was far more painful than the other books. It felt resolved in a sense, but with many things unanswered. I haven't read the fourth book yet, so I'm hoping when I do that it will tie up some of these loose ends and maybe give a more satisfying ending, with more closure! For the book's credit, I think it brings up some important things for growing readers to consider, such as what people choose to value in life, and what things are worth living and sacrificing for.


Scott Hayden I agree. The train of thought really got derailed in this book.


Menmee I actually read this one before the giver. I also felt that there were too many questions unanswered and like yourself, I wanted to know more about how the Trade Market had became so sinister and how the mechanics work and how is it so that by curing the Forest, it also cured the rest of the villagers.


Shelby It's funny, because I read the fourth book before realizing she had written a third... and had the same thought, "What's all this Trademaster stuff and what's the deal with it?" It's covered much more extensively in the fourth book... but even after having read the third book, there's way too many holes that seem like surprisingly lazy writing from Lowry!


Melodie Cuevas :) forth book is better !


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