Joyzi's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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Oct 20, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: ya-books, own, classics, fiction, sci-fi, reviewed, disappointing-books, dystopia, political-intrigue, banned, author-was-possessed, don-t-judge-me, book-series, author-american, 100-books-tfg
Recommended to Joyzi by: Goodreads
Recommended for: YA
Read from October 14 to November 09, 2010

My Reaction After Reading This:
wtf haruhi Pictures, Images and Photos

2 stars

Whoa?

Why?

Really?


SO FIRST OFF I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANTED TO LIKE THIS BOOK SINCE MANY HUMAN BEINGS READ AND LOVE THIS BOOK AND MANY HAVE CONSIDERED THIS AS ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME AND BEFORE I POSTED MY RATING I BROWSE THE RATINGS OF OTHER GR MEMBERS SO THAT I KNOW THAT I'M NOT THE ONLY ABNORMAL HUMAN BEING WHO DOESN'T THINK THAT THIS BOOK IS GOOD OR GREAT OR WHATEVER!!!

(*coughs* sorry I forgot to turn off the CAPSLOCK, I'm not shouting or anything *coughs* just please don't judge me *coughs* if you like the book, I respect you for that, but I really can't force myself into believing I like this book _(>.<)V)

Okay I'll try to explain what I don't like about it:
1. The book is boring.
2. The book is weird.
3. I don't feel any emotions at all towards the character.
4. I don't really understand the book.
5. I don't really understand the ending.
6. I don't really understand why this Utopia world should have no colors, no feelings and no music so that the people would live *coughs* decently.
7. I don't really understand why the children at age whatever should be given ribbons, what's the purpose of that?
8. I don't really understand why the characters should tell about their dreams to their parents.
9. I don't understand why Johnas has to take medications because he was having Stirrings. So stirrings for those who haven't read the book is somewhat closer to wet dreams.
10. I don't understand why the memories of war, loss etc. would make someone want to end his/her life or give up on life. I know that life is imperfect but it seems that the characters have no backbone, like idk I don't buy the logic of that one.
11. In short I don't really understand this at all!

If you're wondering whether I've read this one because it's a school requirement, the answer is NO. I buy this book because I've seen it on the list of best YA book here on Goodreads so many times. And if these book is bombarded with symbolism then please explain this to me(since I don't have brains for symbolism PEOPLE!), especially the ending (What the Fudge is that?) and I might change my rating, I repeat might.
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Reading Progress

10/18/2010 page 28
16.0% "It's actually good, kind of dystopian thingy."
11/08/2010 page 99
55.0% "Okay is this just me or this is really getting weirder and weirder"
11/08/2010 page 136
76.0% "Okay totally weird, I'm going to read this after school^^"
02/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 100) (100 new)


Fraffee I loved this book! Kinda eerie but still good!:)


Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) Seriously, one of my favorite books of all time. I hope you like it!


KaiPea Yeah, I have to agree, I did not understand why people love this book either. I did understand the message but it was so boring. :/


Kwesi 章英狮 I'll wait for someone to share there thoughts about your review, after I share my opinion about the book. I really love The Giver and one of the books that really change my life.


Joyzi Yeah I don't really get it, I think I'm dumb or something (TT_TT)


Joyzi Kwesi really? Seriously I think I'm dumb I don't really understand this at all!


message 7: by KaiPea (last edited Nov 09, 2010 02:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

KaiPea @Joyzi: You ain't dumb. Just really think about it. A world where everyone is not allowed to express themselves.

Edit: Read KD's review.


Joyzi yeah whatever this actually kinda reminds me of one of the Spongebob Squarepants episode wherein Squidward go to these Squidward village in which it was his sort of Utopia but get bored in the end because everyday is the same but when I'm going to compared it to The Giver, The Giver was just boring and weird I don't really get most of the parts of the book especially the ending? Is that some sort of open ending?


Joyzi okay I might read K.D.'s review then ^^


message 10: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Awesome review Joyzi!!! You really know how to write these reviews!!! :D


KaiPea THAT'S EXACTLY IT!! Squidward and that village. :D
and yup Open ending.


Joyzi Aaaaaah okay now I really hate myself that I buy this book, I really thought I'm going to like it (T_T)


Joyzi @Ronyell thank you! You always like my reviews (hugs) I think I'm in love with you right now *kidding*


message 14: by Ronyell (last edited Nov 09, 2010 02:54AM) (new)

Ronyell You're welcome and love ya too (well not that way :D)


Joyzi lol


message 16: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH I understood the book, but I absolutely hated it. It is required reading here in Grade 6 and I feel that it is not a book that most 11 and 12 year olds can understand easily. If there was ever a book to turn off kids from reading, this would be it.


Joyzi lol I just heard it's one of the banned books actually


message 18: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH I see no reason for it to be banned.


message 19: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Yeah, this book was on the banned books list for a long time, although I can't remember why it was banned.


Joyzi maybe because it was weird?


Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Brian wrote: "The ending? A complete disappointment- there were so many better things this author could have done."

I agree. Big let down.


Joyzi The ending was really weird and most parts of the book is really boring, I still don't get why people thought the book was amazing.


Tintin Your review just convinced me to bump up The Giver on my to-read pile. I just bought last weekend :D It's getting such good reviews - I want to see for myself if it lives up to the hype.


Joyzi Hey what I was like gave it two stars? Why do you still want to read it? It's actually boring and lame-o


Tintin For one thing, I already bought it. And another thing, I'd like to judge for myself if it's a good read or what :) As I said before your review made me want to see if it lives up to the hype or, as your reviews says, it doesn't.


Joyzi Ah okay go read it then :) I'll wait for your review^^


Tintin Ack! I've just started a new book but now I have to put it on hold because I can't get 'The Giver' out of my mind! XD


Joyzi Then read it!


Tintin Just finished it yesterday. Here is my response to your review, based on my own thoughts and interpretations. I don't know if they're correct or what XD

1. The book is boring.
I agree Lowry could've made her prose livelier.

2. The book is weird.
It is, and for me that's part of its charm. For us living in the 21st century, Jonas' society is weird. But for them, it is *our* society which is weird!

3. I don't feel any emotions at all towards the character.
I agree I had limited emotional investment towards Jonas, only rooting for him near the end of the book. But I thought the book was concerned more about describing life in the Community as a whole, not just Jonas.

4. I don't really understand the book.
Maybe looking at it from a different perspective could help you? It's not a straightforward story where a hero fights the bad guys and saves the day. What if society was controlled so perfectly that hunger, discontentment, pain, and suffering had become obsolete? Imagine yourself as a member of the community. It's a stark contrast to the reality we have today. I think the reason why this book is popular is that it makes you think outside the box. And just thinking about the repercussions of such a Utopian society is enough to fill pages and pages of required book reports LOL.

5. I don't really understand the ending.
The ending took me by surprise. I agree it's not easy to understand. I had to mull about it for a while. It is beautiful, but frustrating! Stylistically, I understand why Lowry gave it that ending, but I still wish for more closure.

6. I don't really understand why this Utopia world should have no colors, no feelings and no music so that the people would live *coughs* decently.
The very things that bring us great happiness (LOVE, for example) also bring us great pain and sorrow. That is why it had to be done away with. I also wonder what color and music perception have to do with utopia, and the only thing that comes to mind is that Lowry chose it to show that the Community may be living in prosperity without pain, but their lives are incomplete and devoid of life. (Colors and music make me think of the word 'lively' -- my subjective interpretation).

7. I don't really understand why the children at age whatever should be given ribbons, what's the purpose of that?
The community is governed by rules each having their own purpose. I am not sure what symbolic meaning the ribbons have (they were unexplained, unlike the bikes at 9). Maybe it's one of the ways the community controls childhood.

8. I don't really understand why the characters should tell about their dreams to their parents.
That way the community and family members can spy on each other's private lives down to their subconscious desires, which manifest in dreams. There is no personal privacy (remember there are no locks either).

9. I don't understand why Johnas has to take medications because he was having Stirrings. So stirrings for those who haven't read the book is somewhat closer to wet dreams.
Sexuality in the Community is repressed. Remember family units are not even related by blood-- they are assigned. It means even married couples do not have intercourse. It makes sense if you think about how sex, one of life's greatest pleasures, also bring about the greatest pain if uncontrolled (rape, sexual abuse, inadequacy issues, etc.)

10. I don't understand why the memories of war, loss etc. would make someone want to end his/her life or give up on life. I know that life is imperfect but it seems that the characters have no backbone, like idk I don't buy the logic of that one.
People have been known to end their lives based on more mundane reasons such as failing in school (true story from my college years). I agree that Rosemary's 'release' seems surprising at first --she seems so weak-- until you realize what a 'perfect,' sheltered life she had until she became the Receiver. For me the worst of it is that she had to bear all this suffering by herself -- nobody else in the community save for the Giver could understand. It's probably enough to bring someone over the edge.

11. In short I don't really understand this at all
I agree it's complex for a YA book. It probably would've gone over my head if I read it when I was 10 years younger. I understand the accolades, but I don't think it's child-friendly. And it's not entertaining in the way most YA and genre books are. It's in a different league.


Joyzi Wow thanks I think I'm having a state of self-actualization *kidding* yeah but I think the book was OKAY and really the author could do more.


Tintin LOL, you don't have to force yourself to like it. I liked it but it didn't even reach my 5-stars list (I only gave it a 4). I just hope you can now understand it better, as most books listed in official 'Top 100 Books of all Time' lists read similarly. They're not necessarily easy to understand, which makes me wary of them sometimes.


Joyzi yeah I glad you like it though, this book was simply not for me


message 33: by Shiny (new) - added it

Shiny hmmmm.....ur funny! :)


Joyzi :) thanks


Toria LMFAO! #9 made me crack up. I read this book in class. And trust me i KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!


Joyzi Thanks Toria, I'm happy we're not required to read it at school, maybe if I were I won't be reading books now :)


Nissa Arcangel I loved this book as a sixth grader (yes, it was school-required for me) simply because it showed a world I could only imagine and made me feel a little better about the world I do live in... and I don't know if anyone ever really knew what happened in the ending. That's another thing I loved. I hated the kill the twin thing though.... I guess I liked it because it was so quiet and confusing.


Alyssa The reason that Jonas felt depression if because of the pain and desolation he felt when he saw the war-scenes. After living a sheltered life with no education, color or music, he did not know that such emotions were possible. He even had his sexual life cut-off because that feeling was too much pleasure for their utopia to handle. The family units are selected so as to blend mellow charecteristics with higer ones so there is no pleasure, happiness or knowing.


Kirra Empting I didn't really understand it either it was interesting but I didn't understand the ending either. And Im still wondering why are there no colors? Oh wells I guess I can't really change it.


Seline agree with you. I really wanted to like this book. It got so many good reviews, and was on so many lists. But now I've read it, I'm really disappointed.
I understand the message it wants to give. I understand all of it. But I just don't see what's so special about this book. I've read other Utopian/Dystopian novels with similar themes, which were actually better. The plot was better worked out, the character's better exploited. So I just really don't see what's so special about this one (I know I've said it before, but I just really don't).
Maybe it was the fact that the book was so vague. Maybe people think when they've read a book that's a bit more difficult to understand, that it's immediately better, more ingenious or something. Maybe they feel like the book is cleverer because it's more difficult to find out it's meaning, and that it makes them cleverer as well.
I don't know, I just don't understand


message 41: by Zeek (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek Zinger no jated swaaf zeek crazia venux


Rollie Haha. I wanted to answer all your questions but I saw Tintin did it already. I'll just add some. :D

6. I don't really understand why this Utopia world should have no colors, no feelings and no music so that the people would live *coughs* decently.

You know that all things all being controlled just to make their living a perfect one. Their world actually has colors like us, however, it's as if that the community is colorblind for they only perceive black and white. Just to make the community obey the rules, the choices have to be taken away from them. So instead of choosing different colors, they are just only opted to choose black and white. No confusion, no options, just one rule to be obeyed. And all the people there perceive black and white to obtain Sameness except for the receiver, for he/she will be the one who'll suffer the community shall.


message 43: by Sean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sean C. This is literally one of my favorite books of all time. The different depiction of how life could have been is so interesting. I think you need to reread this book more carefully and really think of the meaning behind it.


Nissa Arcangel Seline wrote: "agree with you. I really wanted to like this book. It got so many good reviews, and was on so many lists. But now I've read it, I'm really disappointed.
I understand the message it wants to give. ..."


When I read this book, it was my very first look at a dystopian world. It was sort of my introduction to the dystopian universe. In that sense, even though the book is relatively vague and confusing, it is particularly a good read for those who are starting out and want to imagine a world that is so similar to their own yet so different.


message 45: by Sammi (new) - rated it 1 star

Sammi I totally agree with you, Joyzi. This book deserves to be banned in my opinion. It's beyond creepy... I hate everything it stands for.


message 46: by Parker (new) - added it

Parker Weldon u r soooo right! i HATED this book!


Flora (clandestine) ♥ WHAT!? The hell?
I totally DISAGREES!
This story makes you think. And thinking is good.
@Joyzi: Why do you keep coughing anyway?


message 48: by Katherine (new)

Katherine I agree...this has to be the weirdest book I've ever read...


Valerie This is the best book ever. I'm so sorry you don't understand the wonder which this book contain.... :(


message 50: by M. (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. Well... You won't even like it if you don't actually understand it.


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