Friday, March 07, 2014

Reread #10 The Giver

The Giver. Lois Lowry. 1993. Houghton Mifflin. 180 pages. [Source: Library]

It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane.  

When I decided to dedicate my Fridays to rereads, I knew that I'd "have" to reread The Giver at some point. It is one of my favorite books. This will be my fourth time to review it on Becky's Book Reviews! I reviewed it in 2007, 2011, 2012. Honestly, I'm not sure there is anything more I can say about why this book is a must read. It has everything I look for in a great book: well-developed characters, interesting premise, good world-building, dialogue that draws me in and makes me think. 

Have you read The Giver? Have you read it more than once? Do you find the ending ambiguous? Have you read the sequels? Do you think they add to the story? Are you looking forward to the movie?

Favorite quotes:
"We don't dare to let people make choices of their own."
"Not safe?" The Giver suggested.
"Definitely not safe," Jonas said with certainty. "What if they were allowed to choose their own mate? And chose wrong? Or what if," he went on, almost laughing at the absurdity, "they chose their own jobs?'
"Frightening, isn't it? The Giver said.
Jonas chuckled. "Very frightening. I can't even imagine it. We really have to protect people from wrong choices."
"It's safer."
"Yes," Jonas agreed. "Much safer." (98-9)
"Do you love me?"
There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. "Jonas, You, of all people. Precision of language, please!"
"What do you mean?" Jonas asked. Amusement was not at all what he had anticipated.
"Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it's become almost obsolete," his mother explained carefully.
Jonas stared at them. Meaningless? He had never before felt anything as meaningful as the memory.
"And of course our community can't function smoothly if people don't use precise language. You could ask, 'Do you enjoy me?' The answer is 'Yes,'" his mother said. "Or," his father suggested, "Do you take pride in my accomplishments?' And the answer is wholeheartedly 'Yes.'"
"Do you understand why it's inappropriate to use a word like 'love'?" Mother asked.
Jonas nodded. "Yes, thank you, I do," he replied slowly.
It was his first lie to his parents. (127)
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Suko said...

Becky, I loved this book as well and reviewed it on my blog a few years ago. I am looking forward to a movie version, although I expect it to be different than the book (perhaps in significant ways). This would be a good book to reread as it's quite thought-provoking--luckily we can think for ourselves!

Kailana said...

I am planning to reread this in 2014 because of the movie... Even I don't actually see the movie. (Sometimes I worry!)