Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Award Winning Wednesday — The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a reread for me. I originally read it as a sophomore in high school and I was pretty neutral about it. I don't think it was the type of book I was really in the mood for and I know that I sped through it really fast (because reading only 3 chapters a night in a book this small was torture for a kid like me) and I admit that I read it a bit grudgingly. I was never that kid that hated a book because I was forced to read it. There were a few books I didn't particularly enjoy reading, but this is the only one, in all my years of schooling that I remember not liking because they made me read it.

I read the companion novels, Gathering Blue and Messenger and I simply loved them. So I figured that I must have missed something within The Giver and I decided that I would reread it sometime. But, in the meantime, I will also admit that I claimed to like The Giver as much as I had liked the other two books, but I'm admitting now, that it wasn't true. Then.

Now, however, that's all behind me and OH MY GOODNESS! I'm sitting here, staring at my 15 year old self in shock wondering why on Earth I didn't love this book. Because it is amazing. Far too amazing for the words I'm going to use to adequately describe this book.

Here is a book that makes you wonder, makes you think, makes you question. It follows a young boy, Jonah is not quite 12 when the book starts, and the whole story takes place in just over a year. We watch as Jonah is transformed from a young, naive boy into someone who has wisdom and understanding thrust upon him. Most of you reading this review have either already read The Giver or I'm sure you've heard about it from someone. So, it might be that it's impossible for me to spoil anything for you. BUT I think the way Lowry has written and crafted this story is so important, so powerful and so impactful when read 'right' that I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. So there is a lot I'm leaving out, a lot I'm leaving for you to discover, or rediscover, as I did, all on your own.

You learn in the beginning of the story that the world Jonah lives in is full of structure, rules, regulations, and careful, careful planning. Every detail of their lives is planned by the Elders. Everything is meticulously planned and there are no deviations from this. They are taught from a very young age how they are to live, how they are to be. And no one questions anything, because none of them know any better.

The only question I have about the story is something I can't address in a review like this, because while not, perhaps, an actual spoiler, it does contain something of the story that I think needs to be revealed to the reader, one page, one thought, one memory at a time. I wish the idea of memory had been explored a little deeper in the novel but I find the idea behind it utterly fascinating. Definitely very Jungian though. Makes you wonder.:) (Any of you know what that means? Or am I the only Psych nerd: P)

So really, what I guess I'm trying to say here is that this is a novel worth reading and it is defintiely a novel worth reading again and again. I imagine that there is much Jonas can teach me, about life and what makes it worth living and about what I'm willing to sacrifice in exchange for comfort and whether I have the right to make certain choices for later generations. It's a book to make you think, a book to make you feel and one that I can already tell is going to draw me back for a reread again and again. It is not to be missed.