#FridayReads: The Giver

Okay, let me admit something to you right now.

I have never read The Giver.

I know.  You’re shocked.  It’s a dirty secret I’ve kept my entire life, too ashamed to even tell my husband.  And when I realized my short term sub assignment was happening right in the middle of them reading the book, I decided it was probably time to come clean.  {I know this feels sarcasm, but really it’s not.  My husband went around for days after I told him that I was reading it for just the first time muttering, “I can’t believe, I just can’t believe.”}

ANYWAY.  I read it.  Quickly.  And you know what?  I was unimpressively impressed.

So it’s about a boy who lives in this society who promotes Sameness.  Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and follows the same rules.  Adults have to apply to obtain a spouse, and then that family unit has to apply to obtain children who are birthed from designated Birthmothers.  At the age of twelve, all the children are given their assignment, and Jonas, the protagonist, is assigned the job of The Receiver of Memory.  So he goes to the current Receiver–who becomes The Giver–and slowly has all the world’s memories transferred onto him.  And then obviously, and predictably, Jonas wants to change the society.

And when I was finished I was just.so.mad.

There are so many YA books/series that have stolen this plot! The poor Hunger Games trilogy will be viewed in a new way.  Divergent is no longer so “unique.” And don’t even get me started on my dearly beloved Matched Trilogy, which probably violated The Giver‘s plotline worst of all.

So now I’m so mad that I didn’t know all these books stemmed from this one that set before it.  My blissful ignorance has been shattered.  And I am so very torn up about it.

But really though, I thought that The Giver should’ve been about 80 pages longer.  Maybe that’s because I’m used to reading these long, drawn out series that are becoming so popular, but I have to agree with my students that the little action and all the details can make for a boring read.  I devoured it in a weekend because I was desperate to know more, but there wasn’t any more to know.  And I hated the ending.  Where did he go?  What happened to his community? Why aren’t there more details???  How could Lois Lowry do such a thing to me?!

Or, did Lowry really get it right all along?  I mean, after all, she did stop when she’s ahead.  And probably the best cliff hanger of all time.

And now I can jump on the hate train and bash all this nonsense about how the trailer for the movie doesn’t look anything like the book (while I secretly harbor intense opinions about how I think the movie will actually be a lot better than the book).


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