Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Messenger” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The Giver #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  118,384 ratings  ·  8,165 reviews
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 o
Paperback, 169 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Ember (first published April 26th 2004)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Messenger, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Liam Murray Yes, sort of. You can read "The Giver" before "Gathering Blue" or vice versa; however, "Messenger" opens where "Gathering Blue" left off, and features…moreYes, sort of. You can read "The Giver" before "Gathering Blue" or vice versa; however, "Messenger" opens where "Gathering Blue" left off, and features characters from both "Gathering Blue" and "The Giver". Read "Son" last.(less)
Parker Keys_to_hades It depends on if you're willing to cry. Seeing as this was posted two years ago, you've probably already discovered that.
It depends on if you're willing to cry. Seeing as this was posted two years ago, you've probably already discovered that.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  118,384 ratings  ·  8,165 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Messenger
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miranda Reads
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
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).
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
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
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
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
C.G. Drews
WELL. I didn't expect to be so torn up after finishing this...but. WHAT EVEN, OMG. HOW CAN IT END LIKE THAT? THIS IS UNFAIR. GET ME BOOK 4 ASAP BEFORE I LOSE MY SANITY. (Yeah, yeah, already lost it but shhh don't get too caught up on details.) ANYWAY.

This book is incredible. I confess to not loving Gathering Blue, but I think that was more because I was confused it wasn't directly about The Giver. But this quartet IS all tied together in knots. It's really awesome, and the cameos make me squee
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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
mark monday
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
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-
Sarah Elizabeth
I think this is the most boring book of the series so far. Very little happened really, although we did get one revelation (view spoiler) Otherwise I spent most of this book bored.

5 out of 10["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
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 ab
Faith M ✨
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 ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: young-adult-lit
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
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 n
Merphy Napier
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopian, two-stars
I gave books 1 and 2 five stars so don't let this rating deter you from reading the series!

I really enjoyed seeing books 1 and 2 connect and I loved seeing all my characters a few years down the line. But the plot really dragged for me and I found that I really didn't enjoy reading this. Not because it was terrible, it just wasn't overly interesting to me.

The ending was extremely dramatic so that was good I guess, but the story had sort of already lost me by then. I will for sure be continuing
Oct 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Giver
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 w
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
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 continue
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mario
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 ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 5-star, sci-fi
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
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
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. ...more
Maurine Tritch
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 c ...more
Alissa Patrick
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
#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.
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Katelyn Buxton
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-borrowed

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
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-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
Keith Hall
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 entitlem
Jun 27, 2007 rated it liked it
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 bo
I was not impressed with this follow up book to The Giver and Gathering Blue. I felt no emotional ties to this book or the characters even though the characters were not new to the story. This totally missed the mark for me. Hopeful that Lowry will finish strong in the final installment to this series. I only recommend this book if you want to have a few answers from book 1. Did not like the plot at all! ...more
So if Matty is Matt, the blind man is Kira's father, is the leader then Jonas? But if so, where is Gabe? So confusing. But hey at least some strings were there, not like "Gathering Blue" where everything just suddenly was new... ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Messenger by Lois Lowry
  • Lois Lowry Giver Series: The Giver, Messenger, Gathering Blue
  • The People of Sparks (Book of Ember, #2)
  • The Prophet of Yonwood (Book of Ember, #3)
  • The Diamond of Darkhold (Book of Ember, #4)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
  • The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3)
  • Specials (Uglies, #3)
  • Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
  • The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)
  • The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2)
  • Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
  • The Giver: Graphic Novel
  • Pretties (Uglies, #2)
  • A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet, #2)
  • Prodigy (Legend, #2)
  • Extras (Uglies, #4)
  • Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

The Giver (4 books)
  • The Giver (The Giver, #1)
  • Gathering Blue
  • Son

Related Articles

Until this summer, Lindsay Ellis was mainly known as a super smart and witty film critic and YouTube essayist, making videos that range from...
174 likes · 16 comments
“He wept, and it felt as if the tears were cleansing him, as if his body needed to empty itself.” 185 likes
“Teasing's part of the fun that comes before kissing” 175 likes
More quotes…