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Archive > The Giver series Buddy Read (The Giver #2 onwards)

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message 1: by ✿ ♥ Heather ♥ ✿ (last edited Mar 29, 2014 02:11AM) (new)

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments This is the Buddy Read for Gathering Blue (The Giver #2) by Lois Lowry - start date 1 March, 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

Anyone is welcome to join in. So, for those who have been meaning to read The Giver, you've got 3 weeks notice so you can join us for the next book.

As everyone reads at different speeds, we ask that if you're going to talk about a specific point / plot (rather than your general feelings on the book) then please use spoiler tags.
You can do this by doing the following:
< spoiler > enter the spoiler text here < /spoiler >

Maybe we can use discussion questions from but they might have to be hidden behind spoilers tags too.

If anyone's interested in continuing on to Books 3 and 4 let us know..

Messenger starts 1 April 2014
Son starts 1 May 2014

message 2: by ✿ ♥ Heather ♥ ✿ (last edited Feb 22, 2014 11:51PM) (new)

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Hi, its nearly time to start reading Gathering Blue !

Who's joining Angela and I ? For those of you who still want to join in but and haven't read The Giver, you've still got a few days left.

message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Scales (leslielynn8) | 109 comments I'm joining. I read the giver years ago. Still remember a good bit. I might reread the last few pages to refresh.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Great Leslie :-)

message 5: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Looking forward to it , too .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok well its 11.10pm 28/2/14 here in Perth, so I'm going to start this now... have to put another book on hold as I've been waiting to start this one.

Happy reading !

message 7: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I'm half way through and won't get back to reading until tonight . It's 10:21 am here . Talk to you tomorrow !

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok I'm at 45% and hope to finish tonight / tomorrow.

Some thoughts so far.....

I'm just wondering what the relationship to The Giver this has? Are the books meant to be related in some way?

I'm loving the writing style, its a nice easy read. I like that some things (eg running hot water) are foreign to Kira and remind us, the readers, of what we take for granted.

Vandara - grrrrrrrrrr

I'm kind of surprised that Kira and Thomas are encourage to spend time together, and have meals in each others rooms? Are they trying to get them to "couple" ?

message 9: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I like the writing style , as well , Heather . I knows these are considered children's books , but certainly there's a lot of serious themes that adults can appreciate .

Even though , the book is called a companion to The Giver , I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a continuation of Jonas's story . However , I was immediately drawn into Kira's story.
It's hard not to discuss this without talking about The Giver . I wondered if Kira's village was one of the other places that we learn exist outside of Jonas's home .

I'm anxious to know what , if any the connection is , too .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Yeah I didn't think about that... could be one of the other villages that exists outside of Jonas's home. Alhtough the lack of colour, "perfect" town etc in Jonas's home is vastly different to Kira's village.

message 11: by Angela M (last edited Mar 02, 2014 06:58AM) (new)

Angela M Yes , I thought that about the lack of color , too and also the lack of pain , and any real emotion in Jonas's world vs Kira's village .

message 12: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Another difference is that life seems much more primitive in Kira's village compared to more technologically developed in Jonas's.

message 13: by ✿ ♥ Heather ♥ ✿ (last edited Mar 03, 2014 05:32AM) (new)

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments at 70% in....

This is what I'm wondering about....

(view spoiler)

OK, off to finish the book, I hope.

message 14: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Great questions , Heather ! You'll know some of the answers as you continue reading .

I'll get back to some comments , later .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Finished ! Won't get time to further discuss until lunch time though. Loved the book!

Angela did you read the interview with Lois Lowry at the end of the book ?

message 16: by Angela M (new)

Angela M My version doesn't have the interview but a sample of the next book which I didn't read .
I'll check again . I won't get back to this until later tonight .

message 17: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I don't have the interview in my version but found some interviews with her online. There was a GR interview and several others . I read through some of them but stopped when she started to discuss the books after Gathering Blue since I want to read them .

I'm glad that you loved it too , Heather.

So do you think that the boy with blue eyes that Matt talks about in the village he got blue from is Jonas ? I hope so !

I though Kira was as courageous as Jonas with her choice in the end.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I highlighted some parts of the book (I don't usually do this) because they affected me in some way so I could remember to discuss.

"The smell from the thick mounds of excrement beneath the terrified pigs and the high-pitched squeals of terror as they awaited death..." as much as this is so terrible to read and imagine, the way its written is so clever that you can imagine it, but then I wonder if pigs do know what's coming, which makes me then wonder is this how all animals feel?

I loved the language of Matt and his people. Its what you could imagine people with no schooling might talk like. Did you laugh (in a gross way) when Branchie had Smearies? Eugggh.

I feel so sad for those people who have been disabled in some way who (view spoiler)

The interview I read was one she had before she wrote the other two books but she mentioned she wanted to see Matt feature in another book, perhaps when he's grown up. I haven't read the synoposis of the others to see if this is the case.

I am surprised that (view spoiler) But Kira's decision was definitely a courageous one

This might sound awful, but I wish something had happened to Vandara as punishment in some way. I guess the fact that (view spoiler)

Angela, I like to think in a fantasy world that the boy with the blue eyes is Jonas. But those two worlds are so vastly different I can't imagine them existing at the same time within a couple of walking days distance between them. My brain just can't get around that !

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Aha Messenger is linked to Gathering Blue. I also saw the beginning of someone's review that said "... I was so happy to find out what happened to Jonas and Gabe after the heartbreaking ending of The Giver".

message 20: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I'm really looking forward to that one now - I loved Jonas.
Some other thoughts I had :

It's ironic that in The Giver , memories of the past ,and feelings are kept from the people , and held only by the Keeper of Memories , while in this book , the memories are preserved on the robe ,the staff and in the song.

In both, people are either killed or sent someplace else if they don't fit in with the plan of the people who run the communities .

I do think that there are many villages or communities in close proximity . Those in charge have created ways to keep people from leaving - the beasts that didn't really exist . When Matt comes back, he says about the village of healing , "There are other places. They had come from all over."

I love the magical elements - the swatch of cloth and the carving .

I love that Kira was learning to read just by looking at the words that Thomas wrote to help her remember how to make the colors .

We should read the next two books together - what do you think ?

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Yes, definitely

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I wrote more than "yes, definitely" but that's all that shows up? What can you see ?

message 23: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Only, yes definitely .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok :-). I wanted to know if you want to read soon, spread out a bit, or April, then May?

Also that I liked the magical events too

message 25: by Angela M (new)

Angela M How about one in April and last one in May?
I still probably want to say a bit more about Gathering Blue so I will get back to commenting here soon .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok cool. 1 April then 1 May. That gives others a chance to join in

message 27: by Sydney (new)

Sydney (sydsawyer18) I just read this book recently and can't wait to read the next book in the series!

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments That's great, Sydney, are you happy to join us on April 1st?

Is there anything you want to discuss/share about Gathering Blue ?

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I'm editing the name of this Buddy read to be The Giver series, book 2 onwards... or something like that

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok its nearly time to start reading Messenger (Book 3 in the Giver series) which we will start on April 1st. Who's joining us ?

Goodreads Synopsis

Trouble is brewing in Village. Once a utopian community that welcomed strangers, Village will soon be cut off to all outsiders. As one of the few able to traverse the forbidding Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter Kira to return with him before it’s too late. But Forest is now hostile to Matty, too, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it. Messenger is the masterful third novel in Lois Lowry’s Giver Quartet

message 31: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Here are some of my thoughts to get the discussion started>

What I loved best about Messenger was that it ties together the first two books of the series by bringing back Gabe (who we don't get to know) , but we do know that he is in Village and Jonas from The Giver. I was so glad to know in the second book that a blue eyed boy was in the Village where Kira's father lived. I suspected and hoped that it was Jonas and just so glad that my hopes weren't dashed; he is Leader in this book.

This one feels a bit darker than the first two, even though ominous things occur in these books as well. I'm not sure what the Trade Mart is all about and what is happening when people trade themselves away. I'll be interested in hearing what you think about this , Heather, and anyone else who joins in.

I think that Forest is a symbol for the evils that have entered the Village.

I loved the characters here - Matty, Seer, Leader , and Kira who joins the story towards the end.

I was brokenhearted in the end, and won't talk about this further until Heather and anyone else has finished.

I did love the story, in spite of this. I know that this series was written for children, but this "old kid" has been taken in and moved it.

Looking forward to hearing what you think, Heather.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I agree Angela, I'm glad that we find out about Jonas (although we don't officially get told, its implied by the sled, the blue eyes, and seeing beyond) and Gabe - they survived ! They really did slide down a hill and hear voices and music :-)

I found this one very dark... I think that's why I didn't enjoy it as much. I just didn't see the point, and didn't like that Leader really had no influence at all when the vote occurred.

What genre would this be classed as? I thought The Giver was Utopian, Gathering Blue a Dystopian, but this feels like a Fantasy... how on earth does a Forest attack people? Most of the Village was affected by the evil.

I like Matty's true name he was given... it didn't even occur to me during the book, but yes, it suited him.

I smiled when the little frog appeared towards the end of the book

Overall, a good story, not quite the powerful impact of WOW as The Giver, but still worth reading.

One last thing... (view spoiler)

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Sydney wrote: "I just read this book recently and can't wait to read the next book in the series!"

Hi Sydney, will you be joining us on the discussion of Messenger ?

message 34: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I was really sad in the end, too.

I'm not sure about the categorization, either. I thought at first that The Giver was utopian but boy what a what to create that so called perfection! No feelings, no color, no caring , or love and then killing off people who don't fit in ! Chilling!

Gathering Blue was clearly dystopian. I'm not sure what to callMessenger because there are these elements that are not realistic. Maybe magical realism?

Now that we have read the first three, it's hard for me to think about them as separate because I feel that now that the stories are connected, Lowry must have had some vision of what the whole story means.
Cant wait to read the last one.

Given that this was geared towards children as the audience, I'm trying to think about what the message or lesson might be - there's no perfect world, caring about each other and loving one another is important after seeing what happens when people don't care . I know this may sound simplistic, but again, it's geared for children and these are not less important messages for adults, either.

Still thinking about it.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Ok its nearly time to start reading Son (Book 4 in the Giver series) which we will start on May 1st. Who's joining us ?

Goodreads Synopsis

...They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

message 36: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I'll be starting around May 1st . Looking forward to it .

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments Me too, I'm glad its going back to the setting of The Giver and that it sounds like it will all be wrapped up.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I haven't actually started Son yet as I'm finishing up another book, but Angela is reading it (or maybe has finished)... so we'll be discussing it within the next few days... not too late for others to join in at any time down the track ....

message 39: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I will be finishing up today and will try to make an introductory comment , but will wait for you Heather for real discussion . It's a bit longer than the others , but a quick read .

message 40: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I really wanted to give Son 5 stars like I gave to the first three books in the series, but I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed about how the series ended. For me it was 3.5 but I rounded up to 4 stars.

What I liked about it:

I was glad to return to the place where The Giver started out and Jonas and Gabe's beginnings with the telling of Claire's story.

It seemed like there was a change in the writing style; it doesn't seem as simplified as the earlier books and I liked it .

It brings together Jonas , Gabe , Kira and tells some about Mattie and how Gabe felt about him .

A few people found love and hope and family , feelings , color and the ability to live. Especialy happy for Jonas and Kira.

Disappointed about:

After Claire is sent to the hatchery ,I found it a little slow going . Then excitement is built up when Claire leaves after she finds out her son is missing . Gets slow again when Claire washes up on shore of a village . Way too much time was spent on her training.

I was glad that for these few people something changed for them from their former villages .
The questions remain - how are things in the community where Jonas and Gabe and Claire were born and in the place where Kira and Mattie came from ? What happened to the Giver? What happened in that community now that the people got their memories back after Jonas left?
I was left wanting to know more, hoping that things would be tied up in a better way.

Looking forward to your thoughts, Heather.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I agree Angela... I was hoping for more wrapping up. I gave it 4 stars for keeping me interested and entertained... I would've given it 5 had I shed a few tears at the end and had loose ends explained.

I read a few reviews and someone mentioned some questions that I hadn't thought of:

Do other people get healed when the Trademaster gets destroyed ?
Did Einar heal and then climb out to find Claire?
Why did Trademaster have to be at the top of the cliff?
Who were the birth fathers? (i.e. sperm donors)

A friend of mine asked, if they don't have memories, how do they remember each other ? Good point. Maybe somehow they only have current memories.

I don't understand how a community (Claire/Gabe/Jonas's) can not see colours, experience seasons etc.. was this all from taking a pill?

The boat people that came to drop supplies, what did they make of the island of weird people?

The 3 communities (from Giver, Messenger and Gathering Blue) are so vastly different in their rules, standards of living, culture etc that it doesn't seem possible that they are "up a giant cliff" apart, or "a few days walk" apart. Yet they are.

How did the communities come to be? What year is this set in? We don't really get told if there was a catastrophe of any sort.

I am really ok with these things being up in the air, I'll just choose to go with this story is fantasy, make believe and doesn't need to make sense.

But, I am not ok with the very end. I was looking forward to a reunion. To experiencing the emotion between the two of them when they hugged and felt and cried and talked and laughed and reminisced and cried... and cried and did I already mention... cried.

✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 181 comments I must admit that I was actually quite intrigued by the full-on detailed training and climb. I wondered how Lois Lowry researched it, I marvelled at Claire's dedication, I was amazed at the impact of visualisation.

I was also confused as to why Claire didn't go to Gabe straight away, but it was explained further in the book. She didn't want to burden him with her ailments etc and he looked happy.

message 43: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I agree, Heather, that the ending lacked the display of emotion that I would have loved, especially since there was such a lack of emotion and feeling of any kind in The Giver, except for Jonas and the Giver.

I didn't feel the need to have answers to all of the questions that you indicated from the reviews, but answers to some of them would have made the ending more satisfying. I was especially interested in knowing what had happened in the first village.

I also thought that the relationship between Einar and Claire was a lovely love story and it was sad that they couldn't be together. That I guess was the sacrifice she made in order to see Gabe again.

The battle between good and evil as depicted by Gabe and the Trademaster was I suppose a message that Lowry wanted to convey. Since this is meant as a children's story, it would be interesting to get a child's take n these books, wouldn't it?

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