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The Giver #3


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Messenger is the masterful third novel in the Giver Quartet, which began with the dystopian bestseller The Giver, now a major motion picture.
Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

169 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 2004

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About the author

Lois Lowry

136 books20.2k followers
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 seemed to have their heads under the raised hood of a car. That left me in-between, and exactly where I wanted most to be: on my own. I was a solitary child who lived in the world of books and my own vivid imagination.

Because my father was a career military officer - an Army dentist - I lived all over the world. I was born in Hawaii, moved from there to New York, spent the years of World War II in my mother’s hometown: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and from there went to Tokyo when I was eleven. High school was back in New York City, but by the time I went to college (Brown University in Rhode Island), my family was living in Washington, D.C.

I married young. I had just turned nineteen - just finished my sophomore year in college - when I married a Naval officer and continued the odyssey that military life requires. California. Connecticut (a daughter born there). Florida (a son). South Carolina. Finally Cambridge, Massachusetts, when my husband left the service and entered Harvard Law School (another daughter; another son) and then to Maine - by now with four children under the age of five in tow. My children grew up in Maine. So did I. I returned to college at the University of Southern Maine, got my degree, went to graduate school, and finally began to write professionally, the thing I had dreamed of doing since those childhood years when I had endlessly scribbled stories and poems in notebooks.

After my marriage ended in 1977, when I was forty, I settled into the life I have lived ever since. Today I am back in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living and writing in a house dominated by a very shaggy Tibetan Terrier named Bandit. For a change of scenery Martin and I spend time in Maine, where we have an old (it was built in 1768!) farmhouse on top of a hill. In Maine I garden, feed birds, entertain friends, and read...

My books have varied in content and style. Yet it seems that all of them deal, essentially, with the same general theme: the importance of human connections. A Summer to Die, my first book, was a highly fictionalized retelling of the early death of my sister, and of the effect of such a loss on a family. Number the Stars, set in a different culture and era, tells the same story: that of the role that we humans play in the lives of our fellow beings.

The Giver - and Gathering Blue, and the newest in the trilogy: Messenger - take place against the background of very different cultures and times. Though all three are broader in scope than my earlier books, they nonetheless speak to the same concern: the vital need of people to be aware of their interdependence, not only with each other, but with the world and its environment.

My older son was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. His death in the cockpit of a warplane tore away a piece of my world. But it left me, too, with a wish to honor him by joining the many others trying to find a way to end conflict on this very fragile earth.
I am a grandmother now. For my own grandchildren - and for all those of their generation - I try, through writing, to convey my passionate awareness that we live intertwined on this planet and that our future depends upon our caring more, and doing more, for one another."

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5 stars
37,930 (29%)
4 stars
51,584 (39%)
3 stars
31,698 (24%)
2 stars
6,584 (5%)
1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,865 reviews
Profile Image for Kimberly.
3,924 reviews84 followers
July 16, 2014
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 the story.

Major spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.

First of all, I was more than a little confused to learn that Jonas literally arrived in Village (also, this trend of capitalizing nouns and not putting "the" in front of them--annoying as fuck) on a sled. The sled is now in Museum in Village. (SEE?! Annoying!) Because the ending of The Giver is so open ended, I kind of thought maybe the sled was a metaphor, or a hallucination, or something. Why was there randomly a sled? He literally rode a sled into town? All right. Okay. I'll pretend to buy that. BUT...Jonas is around 20-21 in this story. He has already been named the leader of this new community (his name is now Leader) and apparently has been for some time. Really? A thirteen-year-old shows up one day on a sled, with an infant, and in a few years he's the leader of the community? This is kind of explained by saying that Leader has a gift, the ability to "see beyond." Yes, I've heard that before. Jonas could see colors when the other genetically engineered people in his childhood community could not. But wait--this is not the same "seeing beyond" that we know from before. Adult Jonas can actually see...beyond...what normal people can see. Like, he can stand in his study and focus really hard on the forest and "see" to the other side. But it makes him really tired. Hmmmm. When did he discover/master this particular skill? We never find out.

At one point Matty, the main character in this story, is hanging out with Leader and admiring his many books. Leader says that they arrived one day (when he was about 15) on a river barge--just a bunch of wooden crates filled with books. We are led to understand that these were the books that the Giver had owned, sent down the river to Jonas as a token of forgiveness for leaving them and making them deal with memories and colors. So, what happened in his old community? Is the Giver still there? Did they sort themselves out? Again, we never find out. Jonas has never gone back to his old community, never regained contact with his family, nothing. No juicy tidbits for a Giver fan to hold on to.

Apart from the frustrating lack of information about Jonas, we have a strange subplot involving trading pieces of your soul (or your family's health) for things like slot machines that give you candy. There's this shady fellow called Trademaster who is apparently magical in some way, because he's collecting "the deepest self" of many of the people in Village and trading them for these slot machines. This is making many of the people in Village turn into hostile assholes who are mean to each other, and want to close the borders to prevent additional refugees from coming in. So, you would think that this Trademaster fellow would be the Big Bad of the story. Who is he? What does he want? What on earth is he doing? Guess what? We see him once, and then...we. Never. Find. Out.

Somehow related to this "close the borders" subplot is the fact that Forest (not THE forest, but proper noun Forest) is thickening, decaying, and killing people who try to enter it. Like, Forest is literally attacking people with vines and sharp sticks when they try to pass through. This obviously has something to do with why people in Village are becoming so mean, and also probably with Trademaster, but none of it is ever explained. Zip, zero, zilch, nothing. The book ends with Matty sacrificing himself by using up all of his healing power to "heal" the forest, which then heals the people in Village (by restoring their deepest selves) and Jonas and Kira (oh, she's here too) traipse out of the woods together. That's the end. The main character dies stopping this malevolent evil that is completely unexplained. Where was it coming from? Why is Forest trying to kill everyone? Are the slot machines evil? Who is Trademaster? What exactly were people trading? WHY IS THIS BOOK SO TERRIBLE?!

We never find out.

So, if you're looking for a completely nonsensical and frustrating read, I highly recommend this book. Otherwise, if you've read The Giver and are thinking about continuing the series, I strongly suggest that you do not, because you will be sorely disappointed.

And yes, I'm still going to read Son. Glutton for punishment, I guess.
Profile Image for Tracy.
625 reviews21 followers
August 9, 2018
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 references to Shakespeare and periods of our history. But we have no magic, so where did it come from. I liked the allegorical aspect of people trading what is really important (their souls) in return for things like the removal of a birthmark, being taller, younger, less, bald, better looking, pretty furniture, a slot machine. It seems to speak to our own society where being beautiful is valued over kindness and intelligence (just watch an episode of Real Housewives of anywhere). Where people bankrupt themselves in pursuit of material goods they can't afford. All of the books in this series are allegories...The Giver showed what happens when people try to prevent any painful experience from ever happening to the people in its community...Gathering Blue showed a corrupt society where people had forgotten how to care for one another...and Messenger showed how a society that was based on caring principles could become corrupted. I look forward to reading Son, the final book in this series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
December 10, 2020
This series should've stopped with the Giver.

Mostly because: That. Ending. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

deeep breaths

Okay, let me back up a bit. In this quasi-magic, quasi-dystopian world, we have humans with magical gifts living in harsh, cruel and primitive villages.

In the previous book we followed Kira, who was gifted with great artistic skills with embroidery (talk about a disappointing super power!) as she is used and abused by those in power. This book, we follow Matt (Kira's old companion).
Things seem more when you’re little. They seem bigger, and distances seem farther.
Matt - now Matty - is roughly a teenager and is coming into powers of his own. And (unsurprisingly) world has become very, very confusing for him.

His deepest desire is to become the Messenger - in charge of relaying communication between the crude, vengeful and often irrational villages surround his little town. Only, some of their madness is infecting his home.
And he could see as well that they had not yet approached the worst of it.
A Trader has come to town and what he is trading causes harm to the entire population. Gentle friends are quickly becoming cruel, kind folks are becoming apathetic and soon the entire village shifts from idyllic to something far, far worse.

In the midst of that, Matty is sent out with one, final task - to find Kira and bring her back before it's too late. But with her lame leg and the Forest's ever-increasingly menacing presence, Matty will soon find that even he might not make it back at all.

Overall, I liked this one a bit more than the previous but I'm still peeved that after three books we're left with not even a scrap of information regarding their powers, the society (i.e. how the forest can have a consciousness) or the world-that-used-to-be.

The Trader arc was never truly resolved and I don't think I could forgive the author for what she did to Matty. I'll finish this series but my heart isn't in it anymore.

Audiobook Comments
Well-read and a pleasure to listen to. The variation in tone made this audiobook extremely engaging!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
June 5, 2020
Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3), Lois Lowry

Messenger is a 2004 young adult fiction by author Lois Lowry.

It forms the third installment of The Giver Quartet, begun by her 1993 Newbery Medal-winning novel The Giver. It takes place about eight years after the events of The Giver and about six years after the events of Gathering Blue.

Characters from the two earlier books reappear in Messenger, which gives the novels a stronger continuity. Matty was introduced in Gathering Blue as an energetic and impatient individual, who is undergoing a transition into adulthood as the story begins.

Matty now lives with Seer, originally named Christopher, an "unseeing" or blind man rescued by the people of the Village years before. Matty is desperate for his new name to be "Messenger," which is what he feels he is best at doing. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه دسامبر سال 2017 میلادی

عنوان: پیام رسان؛ نویسنده: لوئیس لوری؛ مترجم: کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی، ویراستار: فریبا دیندار؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، کتاب ونوشه، 1396، در 183 ص، فروست: کتاب کودک و نوجوان، شابک: 9786002297136؛ داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 21م

‫کتاب «پیام‌رسان»، سومین کتاب، از سری چهارگانه ی بخشنده است؛ کتابهای اول و دوم این سری چهارگانه، با عنوانهای: «بخشنده»، و «در جست‌وجوی آبی‌ها» هستند؛

‫در این کتاب سوم نیز «یوناس»، «متی»،‌ «کایرا» و «پدر کایرا» شخصیت‌های دو کتاب پیشین حضور دارند؛ شش سال است، که «متی» همراه «سیر»،‌ پیرمرد نابینا، در دهکده‌ ای زندگی می‌کنند، که دروازه‌ هایش به روی تازه‌ واردهاییکه از زندگی در مجموعه‌ های دیگر رنج می‌برند، باز است؛ اما حالا دیگر دهکده همانند بگذشته نیست، و اهالی دهکده می‌خواهند، دروازه‌ ها را، به روی تازه‌ واردها ببندند؛ «یوناس» تسلیم رأی مردمان می‌شود، اما از کار خویش خشنود نیست؛ برای همین او «متی» را مأمور می‌کند، تا پیام را به آن‌هایی برساند، که عازم دهکده هستند؛ «متی» گام در راهی پرخطر می‌گذارد، راهی دیگر از سفرهای پیشین خویش، و چیزی متفاوت از اکتشافات پیشین خویش کشف می‌کند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/03/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Julie.
798 reviews18 followers
June 9, 2008
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 series of books so much since Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets. I don't know how these two "sequels" to The Giver escaped me for so many years!
Profile Image for Cortney.
273 reviews2 followers
May 2, 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.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,633 reviews5,001 followers
June 28, 2018
the Messenger boy runs to and fro, delivering his messages, keeping his secret to himself.

the old Seer sees beyond his blind eyes, to the world around him, to his distant past, to the heart of the boy.

the young Leader looks ahead, the past secured, the present and the future fraught with danger.

the distant Embroiderer makes her tapestries and sees all, all but the sickness.

the once-welcoming Villagers have changed: avarice and fear sicken their hearts; warmth and life have been replaced.

the now-sick Forest has found a new purpose: kill, kill, and kill again; cold and rot have replaced warmth and life.

the Author writes a parable, her third in this world of parables; she provides a guide on how not to live a life; a guide full of secrets and blind sight that sees and futures that must be avoided and sickness that must be cured; she writes with clarity and ambiguity, in equal measures.

the Parable is a simple one: resist your worst self.

the Cure is a hard one: sometimes a terrible sacrifice must be made.

the author Lois Lowry lost a son, caught in the machineries of war; she wrote an elegy for him, to mourn his passing - to mourn the reasons for his passing - to give his passing meaning - to give him life, again - to mourn his death, again.

the Elegy is a lament for the dead: a lament that gives purpose; a lament that adds something tender and something meaningful to the terrible sting of loss.

the boy is a Healer, as is the seer, and the leader, and the embroiderer; the world the Author creates requires their sights, their sacrifices, their giving.

the world We live in requires the same.
Profile Image for Caroline.
1,200 reviews141 followers
November 20, 2008
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 about what was going on in Village as well as how exactly things were progressing in Kira's village that was featured in Gathering Blue (at the end of that it's in a pretty big mess, but we never get a real idea of HOW it changed or why).

I felt this definitely could have used 50 more pages to flesh out different aspects of the story, and even then it still would have been pretty short! Seriously, I understand the basics of what was going on at Trade Mart, but I was still so curious as to what was going on that I wanted more information!

Still, the ending was strong for me and I had a hard time sleeping after finishing it since I found myself thinking about it after I'd turned my light off. I can't really justify a 4-star rating on this even though it did keep me thinking, however. I liked it, but it just didn't resonate with me as much as the previous two. A decent companion, but definitely could have been better.
Profile Image for ✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨.
386 reviews331 followers
May 11, 2018
While the plot issues with Gathering Blue weren't resolved in this one, it stood on it's own better as a story. I loved Matty in this, and all the other characters too, like Seer, Leader (who's totally Jonas), Jean, and Kira from Gathering Blue. The themes of immigration and acceptance, of social sickness reflecting in nature were very well done and relevant. I wished there had been a bit more in some areas, but found myself deeply engrossed throughout and read it all in one sitting (it is very short though, so that isn't exactly a bragging point). I'm excited to read Son now, which is considerably longer than Gathering Blue and Messenger, possibly even combined.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
December 9, 2015
I think this is the most boring book of the series so far. Very little happened really, although we did get one revelation Otherwise I spent most of this book bored.

5 out of 10
Profile Image for Debbie.
2,162 reviews49 followers
September 16, 2007
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' leadership, welcomes those who have escaped from other communities. However, the sinister influence of Trader is changing the people of Village. They decide to build a wall to stop immigrants from entering Village. Matty is sent into the forest with messages for the other communities and to bring Kira back before the wall goes up. Matty and Kira's journey through the forest is delightfully eerie and will keep the pages turning.

The exact natures of Trader and the suddenly magical forest (remember that it was actually harmless in Gathering Blue) are never revealed, so even though some questions are answered, others are left unanswered.
Profile Image for Emilio.
24 reviews
December 11, 2012
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 not an unexplainable phenomenon or a fictional creature, but the society itself. The village who once was a humble and sympathetic place, is now becoming wretched, selfish, and uncaring... which is basically what is going on nowadays. The book teaches us bravery, courage, wisdom and the inner strength that unleashes during the darkest days. I loved the scene were Matty suggested to heal Kira's leg and she refused, stating that the limp was part of her identity, and it made her whole and complete, teaching her to be stronger and to take pride in her pain.

I became really enthralled with the novel and is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. You must read it, period.
Profile Image for Cathy.
44 reviews
December 31, 2019
I really wanted to know "why" Forest was becoming malevolent, and more background on the workings of Trade Mart would have been helpful too - and did it completely disappear after Matty finally used his gift? Hopefully I'll find out in the next installment. If not for these questions, I would have given this book four stars, as I'm really enjoying this series.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
584 reviews30 followers
November 8, 2007
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 what happened, but what happened next? Why was forest angry? What were the people exchanging at Trade Mart? What was up with Mentor? And now everything is just ok? What about Kira's community? What ever happened to the Singer? I'm dropping this to 3 stars but did consider going down to two. I am not satisfied with the conclusion at all. The only community where we had closure was Jonas'.
Profile Image for Abbie.
Author 2 books2,184 followers
December 27, 2017
5 stars. I honestly cannot think of one thing I didn't like about this book. IT WAS SO GOOD. Full of surprises and twists and allegories and ugh ugh UGH I'M NO GOOD AT WRITING REVIEWS FOR BOOKS THAT I REALLY LOVED. Because I can't do anything but fangirl and babble incoherently. :''') IT'S FINE.

I can't even make a list of things I liked and didn't like because I LIKED EVERYTHING. Even the ending, as it broke my heart into little smithereens. *cries into a pillow* The characters were filled with depth and emotion — they each had unique voices and personalities. I loved how the characters from THE GIVER were finally reintroduced into the story (AT LAST A BIT OF CLOSURE *gasps desperately and hugs Jonas*) Matty was definitely my favorite. His character development was A+++++++ and he was just the perfect blend of strength and gentleness. His gift was intriguing and I totally didn't expect the ending… *cries some more* SO BAD IT'S GOOD. And the allegories of Forest and how it related to the spiritual changes in the people of Village… ASDFGHJKL YES MMMHMM. It left me thinking. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE books that make me think.

Like THE GIVER, I couldn't put this book down. It was definitely my favorite in the series so far…not sure if that means I'm getting used to the lack of explanatory endings or what. :') OH WELL. I CAN DEAL WITH A LITTLE CONFUSION. *runs off to read book 4*
Profile Image for Sandy .
356 reviews10 followers
April 6, 2017
This third book in the author's The Giver Quartet features characters from both The Giver and Gathering Blue. The author continues to build a very convincing fantasy world in which individuals with a variety of physical and/or emotional wounds as a consequence of life in a dystopian community are welcomed into Village, a place where they are valued and where their individual gifts are recognized and nurtured.

As I expected from this author, the very strong undercurrent of spirituality is continued. This element is, in my opinion, slightly too melodramatic in the ending of this book; hence, I give it a slightly lower rating. Nonetheless, it is well worth reading as a sequel to the previous books. I would not recommend it as a "stand-alone".
Profile Image for Ngoc.
168 reviews
February 7, 2017
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 is so sad. It was a great ending to a great series.

Review written in 2007. Book #4 Son published in 2012 is on my to-read list:)
Profile Image for Maurine Tritch.
249 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2012
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 comes out of nowhere. Ultimately though, I didn't like this book because nothing was concluded. The final sacrifice was made yet the main problem is left unresolved. The thing is, you can't force salvation. To save someone, he or she needs to want to be saved and have some idea of what they're being saved from...or they'll go right back where they were. The solution in The Messenger is at best an extremely costly finger in the dike: the problem is still there, the cause of the problem is still there, and the water is still going to drown the populace. This is not a satisfactory end to a book. In fact, I felt I had wasted quite a lot of time reading a story that went nowhere.
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,025 reviews580 followers
October 19, 2016
This wasn't as good as the first two books. I still enjoyed the storyline and the style of writing, but it just seemed a bit more sloppy and rushed. It wasn't explained well at all. What exactly were the people in the Village trading? Why couldn't Matty use just a part of his gift? What happened when they got back? It just had too many loose ends and vague plot holes. Moving on to the last book, hoping it will tie everything together better.
Profile Image for Alissa Patrick.
416 reviews182 followers
July 22, 2016
#3 of the Giver series and this one may be the turning point for me in the series, in a good way. But it also scares me how it still resonates today, especially in the wake of this awful 2016 US Presidential Election.

Some of those who had been among the most industrious, the kindest, and the most stalwart citizens of Village now went to the platform and shouted their wish that the border be closed so that 'we' (Matty shuddered at the use of 'we') would not have to share the resources anymore.


I can't wait to finish up this series but I'm also scared to.
Profile Image for Katelyn Buxton.
Author 13 books80 followers
April 3, 2018
Odd as it is, I feel like Messenger did a better job of hearkening back to The Giver than Gathering Blue, merely by putting us inside the head of another likeable male protagonist. Matty, (Matt, in the previous book), is almost all grown up now, but beginning to discover something about himself that frightens him. Something that he doesn’t understand—something that could potentially effect great change in his world.

Other than that, Messenger’s plot follows an entirely different trajectory than that of its predecessors. In the previous two books things were bad, and things that seemed good were not really very good at all. There’s a growing sense of unease—a dull horror that things are not what they seem—building up to a better ending. With Messenger, things start out just the way they should. Life is good in the Village. People share, and don’t discriminate between others just because they’re disabled in some way or another. From there, it gradually travels downhill. The mysterious Trade Mart has people trading away their inner selves and becoming selfish, and only receiving silly stuff in return, like velvet-covered furniture, an improved complexion, or an old slot machine that spits out candy. But what can be done about it? Trades are forever. That's where Matty comes in.

Matty is like Jonas in a lot of ways. He’s just beginning to grow up, and realize that there is more to the world than meets the eye. He’s good-hearted, and willing to sacrifice himself for others if necessary. He’s even beginning to experience the stirring of new power within himself, just like Jonas—Jonas could “see beyond,” The Giver could “hear beyond,” and Matty—well, he can fix a frog. (His words, not mine, folks.) He can heal things just by touch. His old friend Kira has the almost supernatural gift for weaving, and Thomas for carving. Matty can heal.

That healing power makes the climax of this book spectacular, and I’ll leave it at that. I noticed that it is a little brief this read-through, but it utterly wrecked me the first time I read it. Prepare yourself for feels—that’s all I have to say. :P

If you liked The Giver, I think you'll like Messenger. As always, Lowry builds the suspense until the very end, and leaves me wanting more.
Profile Image for Kaora.
559 reviews280 followers
November 27, 2014
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 curious to see what happens in the last book and whether or not it ties it all together.
Profile Image for Dave.
2,981 reviews324 followers
December 5, 2019

Messenger is the third book in Lowry’s Giver quartet, a group of four books loosely related by theme and by placement of the stories in a future world post-civilization. This is the weakest of the first three allegorical tales. Although characters from the first two books including Jonas (now “Leader”), Matty, and Kira play large roles in this book and thus link up the first two books, there is less world-building here and it feels story-wise a bit flat.

This story takes place for the most part in the Village where Matty found the blind seer and it has been traditionally a village that took in the broken ones who no one else wanted, but that’s changing. Special powers are apparently not limited to Kira as Matty’s power has made an appearance. And the Forest is, of course, like a living being. Most important, when you go the trade fair, keep a tight grip on your soul and don’t go trading it away.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,244 reviews382 followers
January 7, 2021
Yet another 3 stars in the series. After loving the first book so much I'm disappointed that the two after is only 3 stars but I will finish the series. It's not a bad series but because it started out with a bang I wanted the rest to be the same
Profile Image for Jefi Sevilay.
572 reviews50 followers
December 20, 2021
Yarı-distopik, yarı-büyülü ilk iki kitap olan Seçilmiş Kişi ve Maviyi Toplamak bu kitapta birleşti. Lois Lowry'nin yazımını da alttan alta verdiği mesajları da çok seviyorum. Ancak ne yazık ki önceki kitaplara göre bu kitaba bayılmadım. Biraz zorlama gibi geldi. Pek çok soru cevapsız kaldı. Mesela Takasçı'ya ne oldu? Kötülük neden yükseldi, fitilini kim ateşledi? Matty sevdiğim bir karakter olsa da bu sorulara kurban gitti.

Son kitap Oğul hepsinden daha kalın. Umarım bu sorulara cevap buluruz.

Herkese keyifli okumalar
Profile Image for Jinky.
538 reviews8 followers
September 17, 2010
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 knowing that now, I have two versions!! ~I think I need to take some Gingkoba 'cause I'm loosing it!!

Okay, now for Messenger. Well, Matt in book #2 is now Matty and speaker in this book He is six years older from where book #2 left off. We find that he ends up living in Christopher's village. There he learned manners and proper grammar. He found place as courier of messages between villages and does so going through the Forest with ease. Then Matty's new village started to change as the Trade Market comes to bloom. The kind-hearted people basically traded their souls for vanity and trivial amusements. The people changed so much that they got tired of welcoming in the damaged and voted to close their doors to newcomers. This charge compelled Matty to go back to his old town to get Kira to her father before the the closing. At this point, the Forest was not kind as well. In fact, it seemed to live to torture and kill those in its path, even fierce Matty. That said, Matty and Kira's journey back to Christopher became hell-like. In the mean time, Leader (with powers to see beyond) kept Christopher updated in his children's (Christopher had considered Matty his son) travel. When Leader saw that Matty and Kira was at death's door, he went after them. Kira with powers to depict what's ahead through her threading saw that Leader was on his way to meet them. But Leader too was at death's door. It became apparent that it was time to use Matty's power though he felt it wouldn't do much considering his condition. Then, ... you'll have to read the rest!

The whole trilogy was dark and dreary for most of it's story. It was painful to read but we find hope in the courage of it's amazing characters. We were reminded that a society can slowly and easily be corrupt. We are challenged to look around about us and know that individually we have power to help it to thrive well. We are all advocates to maintaining a civil society and securing that for our posterity. We are invited to discover and use our individual power for good. These are some of the things that I got out of these books.
27 reviews
March 3, 2011
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 entitlement was someow connected to the forest. Somehow they were connected, which brings me to my next question
2) What explains Forest's demeanor/personality? - The forest warned them from entering/kept people from leaving. Somehow it was the gatekeeper to the Village. It seems to me that it at first protected others from the communities from which they fled, then in the end protected others from the changing community's new negative attitude towards outsiders. This in comparison to the total control over the earth and its resources demonstrated in The Giver, where increased technology and knowledge can conquer the elements meant to protect us, in order to establish stability and efficiency, yet requires the sacrifice of personal autonomy and pleasure--freedom and joy. Speaking of sacrifice,
3) How did Matty heal the Mentor and others like him in the Village? - I understand that he can heal physical and even emotional or mental illnesses and injuries. I don't, however, understand how he was able to change the inner self of people who had chosen to trade it away. Especially when it had already been said that what is traded can never be taken back. That doesn't make sense to me. That Matty dies in the end troubles me, but I understand that it is symbolic of the necessity of sacrifice to allow for the compensation of wrong acts. Sadly, nothingof the atonement of Matty points to permanent change. In but a generation people will forget, just as they had forgotten the roots of their village's founding.

Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
August 10, 2021
It was interesting. It was really short and a little confusing though. I'm not sure if there was a point to this entire story unless it was needed for the final book. I'll find out soon.

How I choose my rating:
1* Didn't like it at all. These are rare as I usually just don't finish any book I dislike this much.
2** Didn't like it. Again usually DNF if I dislike it this much, but occasionally I feel it still has potential and I try to stick with it to the end.
3*** I liked it. It wasn't great but it was enjoyable enough. It is unlikely I'll ever reread it but I might finish the series if it is a part of one.
4**** I really liked this book. Maybe not a work of genius, but highly entertaining. I might reread this at some point, and I will almost always finish the series if part of one.
5***** I loved this book. I found little to no issues with it at all. I will probably reread this and possibly more than once. I will definitely finish the series if it's part of one.
Profile Image for Lara.
99 reviews3 followers
June 28, 2007
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 book that make the end feel like pretty damn certain allegory.

I never thought I'd say it, but Lois Lowry has let me down.
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