The Giver

a review

TeresaH, Staff Reporter

If The Giver by Lois Lowry isn’t a classic, then neither is Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Although The Giver was only published in 1993, the novel truly defined what a (dare I say) perfect dystopia would look like, starring a true utopia. The Giver is everything a dystopian novel should be: thought-provoking, perceptive, interesting and clean.

Lowry takes the prize with her simple but elegant method of storytelling, plot progression, character development and overall message. Through easily understandable language and nearly effortless writing, Lowry makes the reader question whether ignorance is bliss without directly stating the question or the answer.

Although a few years have gone by since I read the novel (so I may be exaggerating), I clearly remember the emotions I felt while reading (and rereading) this masterpiece.

The Giver is a masterfully crafted novel, but its movie adaptation failed in every way where the novel was successful. Standalone, the movie would have made a typical cliche and barely successful Hollywood movie. However, with the name The Giver slapped onto it and advertised as being based off Lois Lowry’s book, the movie robbed the book of the depth and significant meaning that it originally contained. Starring “teenage” Abercrombie and Fitch models playing twelve year olds, the movie only took the names and title of the book, replacing a meaningful and intricate observation of society with a sappy teenage romance (that was NON-EXISTENT in the novel). Sidenote: the movie made me so angry that I cried tears of rage through all of the end credits and a few minutes afterward (my family was very confused).

Ignoring the existence of the movie is exactly what you should do when reading The Giver. Maybe I have a soft spot for The Giver or I enjoyed reading into it too much, but I definitely believe that The Giver is a book EVERYONE should read. I rarely ever say that about books because I understand everyone has different tastes, expectations and interests in books, but The Giver is an exception. Not only is it written so that it could be read by everyone, the conveyed message depends on the takeaway of the reader whether they choose to focus on memory, vision, ignorance, pain, individuality, choice, faith, dreams, suffering, emotions, love, war, etc.
To me, The Giver isn’t a warning against what the future may become like so many other dystopian books but rather it’s an observation of humanity under a certain set of conditions. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I like about The Giver; it could be its multiple themes, great writing, unique storyline or all of the above. Either way, The Giver is a book worth reading and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Not all books are capable of changing the reader’s method of thinking or broadening the views of a reader, but The Giver is definitely able to do just that.