Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 208 page
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 24, 2006
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in the Giver Trilogy
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I picked this book up to read because I had heard it is a wonderful dystopian novel. It definitely was a great, if disturbing, read. I am very pleased that I finally got around to reading it.
Jonas was born into a world were couples are perfectly matched and each are given one boy and one girl. The children are given medication starting at twelve years old that stifles any emotional urges and then are placed in work positions most appropriate to their disposition. Jonas is different though, no one can guess what work he will be placed in. Then he finds out that he will be the society’s new Receiver of Memory; the one person in society who doesn’t have to follow any of the rules and is responsible for the memories of humanity. The old man who give Jonas these memories is forced to revel dangerous truths about their society to Jonas, they are truths that are truly stunning.
This was a wonderful book. It was easy to read and very well set up, the whole time you suspect that things aren’t quite right but when the truth is revealed it is stunning. Much of the book reminded me of Huxley’s Brave New World. Jonas is an excellent character and watching him transition from one of the ignorant masses to an enlightened individual is both painful and fascinating.
This is a short book, but it packs a lot of story and that story has a truly powerful punch to it. I found my self stunned and almost in tears at parts; so while this was not necessarily an easy read, it was definitely a thought-evoking and memorable one. I zipped through it quickly and found it very hard to put down. It is hard to talk about more of the plot without giving things away; but if you find dystopians fascinating and are intrigued by humans adopting sameness for safety you will find this book wonderful.