Jj873's Reviews > The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
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Aug 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: must-possess
Read in August, 2008

Upon finishing this book, not 20 minutes ago, I'm left with several thoughts:
1. This book should be required reading for everyone with the emotional maturity to handle it! (I believe that blindly labeling The Giver as a children's book is neither realistic nor necessarily wise, in some instances. Parents would be well advised to thoroughly screen it before offering it to an emotionally sensitive child to read.)

2. Very few things leave me mentally stuttering as I struggle to put my thoughts into words, but, somehow, The Giver has done just that. It will take me a while to be able to make sense of, not the story, but my response to it.

3. The Giver is a deftly crafted work, both stunningly beautiful and deeply disturbing... Finding myself being imperceptibly lulled by the peace, order, safety and serenity of Jonas's world; being awakened by the sickening thud of reality's steel-toed boot in the gut, leaving both him and me breathless and disoriented in the aftermath. This story is haunting and powerful. It's a raw portrayal of the presumed moral sacrifices that man would have to make in order to create and maintain a Utopian society, and the acceptable naivety of the horrors that would accompany it.
Perhaps what is most frightening to me is the way I so easily assumed, at first, that Jonas saw the world as I do.. that the words were being used in the way I understood them. The realization that his newly deposited knowledge gives him is almost terrifying, definitely unnerving. The depth of my emotional response still has me reeling!

4. This is NOT a happy-ending, feel-good read... although I suppose it could be for those who read books without truly experiencing them, but I don't know how to do that, so for me it was a painful experience. I'm glad I read it, as it's made me think about things in a way I wouldn't have otherwise, and I appreciate that. I don't know that I would have read it had I known how real Jonas's and the Giver's pain would be to me.
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Reading Progress

02/27/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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Kolleen I truly agree with your entire review! I have no idea why children are reading this in school (I was once of them who had to read this in middle school, and didn't understand it at all!). Further, it ultimately is a depressing book and I agree that it is something that parents should decide whether or not thier children should read first. I can't say that I wouldn't have been disturbed if I had actually understood the concept of this book in childhood. I would certainly classify this as an adult book.

message 2: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Morris I agree completely. I was a bit creeped out by this book yet I am still drawn to it. In fact I just ran across it and it was a blast from the past. Its been about 10 years since I've read it but now have the desire to read it again. Never have I thought I would find a creepy book is worth reading again.

Luis Vazquez What she says is completely true because of the shocking things that happen such as the act of releasing. This is a concept that younger children may not even comprehend the concept that is presented to them. To me alone it was disturbing enough to read in school. The book was good but I do not recommended it to younger children.

Jenna I read this book in 7th grade and I felt I understood it just fine. My teacher helped guide us but I felt I understood the main points. If I were to read it now that I am older I think I would pick up more on the little things and have a new outlook on the on the novel but I don't think it is not a children's book.

Lisa Gremore good thoughts, I agree.

Devon Brown Completely agree. It's going to take me a while to process what I just read. I have overwhelming pain in my heart at the moment, but my eyes are open so much wider then yesterday. I am 31 and I would not have been emotionally ready to read this as a child, it's still tough at 31.

Cecelia If I'd read this in this in sixth grade, I'm not sure I'd have understood it. It could be that I was naive as a child. But, one thing that I don't see mentioned much in the reviews is that Jonas lived in a sexless/asexual community - which was weird. I wondered how the birth mothers became pregnant? I'm assuming they were artificially inseminated? The female children had their hair cut short at a certain age - giving them a kinda "sameness" as the men. Also, the men kinda reminded me of women, a little bit. Jonas's dad, the way he nurtured and cared for newborns, he just reminded me of a woman a little bit. Also, the Stirrings. Taking a pill to kill sexual desire? So, you're matched with someone as husband and wife, but, I'm assuming there is no sex involved? All children are adopted from birth mothers...I don't know how I'd fathom this as a middle schooler - but perhaps, my young mind doesn't grasp things as quickly as other MS kids..

Travis Best book ever!!!

Cecelia Travis wrote: "Best book ever!!!"

Travis, what were your favorite scenes in the book?

message 10: by Gina (new)

Gina I read I am the cheese and found it confusing never had to read this one, is it worth the time now?

Amanda Mccoy Y'all have to read the other 3 books! He's grown up in the last book!! It's kind of cool because new characters and introduced and they all come together in book 3.

Kai Flint Campbell I loved the book but hate the ending!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cecelia Kai Flint Campbell wrote: "I loved the book but hate the ending!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I agree, Kai! Have you seen the movie? I guess we need to read the other books to see what happens in the rest of the series!

message 14: by Cora (new) - rated it 1 star

Cora I read this last year. I wasn't even in middle school, but I understood. This isn't a nice, happy read. The ending left me like...woah. After everything this just comes out of the blue...
It was an okay book...
It's just not something I'd go crazy about. If you are going to tell me that I just don't understand, know that when you think, and think harder you can figure out anything.

Cecelia Cora wrote: "I read this last year. I wasn't even in middle school, but I understood. This isn't a nice, happy read. The ending left me like...woah. After everything this just comes out of the blue...
It was a..."

Cora, who said you didn't understand??? When I said that comment, I was just saying if I were in a sixth grader, I would not have understood, but perhaps I was naive as a child?

I was not sure if your comment was directed at me, or someone else? Just wanted to clear things up if your comment was directed at me.

message 16: by Cora (new) - rated it 1 star

Cora Cecilia- It wasn't directed at you. It was just like hmmph... I need to get this out of my brain.

message 17: by Cora (new) - rated it 1 star

Cora Cecilia- It wasn't directed at you. It was just like hmmph... I need to get this out of my brain.

Cecelia Cora wrote: "Cecilia- It wasn't directed at you. It was just like hmmph... I need to get this out of my brain."

Oh. Ok. thanks for letting me know!

Shannon Actually it is required in my town to read for 7th-going-into-8th graders and I'm only 3 chapters in but I love it already

Sarah I have no need to write a review because all of what I needed to say you already have.

Matilda The first time I read this book it was two years ago I was in 6th grade and it was read aloud to my class by our teacher. I loved it I understood everything to a very high degree and was fascinated by the story. However some of my friends had a hard time with the story, and requested to leave the classroom when it was being read. Their request was granted. Having just read the book again, I realize that I was ready to read/hear the book read to me when I did. I understood the story and all the parts of it. I do not think this book is not to be classified as a children's book, but I think no one should be forced to read this book. Or at least if they are reading this in a class they should be given another option if they can't Handel it.

Lexie I had to read someone's thoughts about this story...about how it has affected others. I've just finished the 19th chapter -- Jonas' viewing of the release of the newborn twin. I'm staggered. I intuited that the ceremony of release was exactly what was rendered...and still, reading it...I wonder if I can bear to read the rest of the story. How is this book considered appropriate for children to read?! Jonas is twelve when he begins to train as the Receiver...I try to imagine myself at twelve, absorbing what Jonas must absorb...and on deeper reflection, I think, "I did. I did absorb that depth of feeling, of experience, of memory." Perhaps this book -- one of its difficult gifts -- is to help us to remember our capacities for empathy, cruelty, denial, and expression. I'm in my late 50s, and we are in 2017...and what is called "releasing" in The Giver is an issue that torments many of us. The act itself is presented in a certain way in this story...and it is something that we all must grapple with as laws are being written and enacted...

I am on now to finish the book. My heart is hammering. Jj873, I appreciate your thoughts. I needed to read how this book impacted someone, and your review was the one I read completely. Thanks.

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