Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver

I finally read the modern classic, The Giver, and I’m so glad I did! I bought a pretty edition with all four books in the quartet and can’t wait to read the rest! Kinda surprised to read that Lowry didn’t think there needed to be other books after this one. The ending is the perfect setup for a sequel.


Every page was like a sucker punch. Just when you think, “Okay, maybe this society isn’t so bad. Look at how nice they all are to each other, look at how they care for each other, aw, isn’t that nice”—wait, they do WHAT?! Yeah, pretty much the whole time. Wanted to kill a few characters, but I guess you can’t really blame them when they literally don’t know any better.


Of course, I loved Jonas and the Giver. A wonderful relationship, much like a grandfather would be to him. I loved watching Jonas’s transformation as he “receives” and the world around him changes drastically. I’m interested to see what happens with the girl in the next books and the baby.

Writing Quality

Brilliant. Lowry writes simply, but powerfully. No wonder it’s won awards! Perfect for all ages. Well, maybe not, like, infants and toddlers, but you know what I mean.


Let’s just say, I am super excited for the movie because I couldn’t put this book down! I hated to leave Jonas in the hands of his crazy world. I had to know what would happen next. I’d say this book, on top of all the sucker punches and whatnot, is a slow burn that gets hotter with every page. So much builds by the end, it kinda made me want to scream. Okay, so I did scream. Many times. It was enough for me to give it 5 stars and that happens rarely. A book really has to move me to get 5 stars. And it did. If there ever needed to be a better argument for individuality, this is it.

The Goodreads Description

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

The Giver is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopia and gradually appears more and more dystopic, so could therefore be considered anti-utopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. Jonas’ society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness”, a plan which has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of “Receiver of Memory,” the person who stores all the memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. As Jonas receives the memories from his predecessor—the “Giver”—he discovers how shallow his community’s life has become.

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My Review
  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Writing Quality
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