Age Range: Young Adult/ Middle Grade
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1993
Genre: YA/Dystopian/ Classics
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
I feel almost ashamed, that it took me this long to read The Giver. Growing up, it seemed like all of my peers had read and loved this book, but for some reason, I never got around to reading this book. Now that I have read it, I can see why it is considered a classic, and why it is so beloved by so many people.
One of the most remarkable things about this book is the world building. The author does an amazing job of creating a vivid and well-developed world in such a short amount of time. I have read 400+ page dystopian novels that are less well developed than this novel. I loved the presentation of this world, it is seemingly ideal but is slowly shown to be a sinister and disturbing world. It made for a really powerful story.
I am generally a plot-driven reader. I love a story with a fast-moving plotline, this book does not have that, but weirdly enough. I did not mind. I found myself enjoying the vivid descriptions that came with the receiving of memories, and the character development that Jonas goes through as the book progresses. If I had read this book when I was younger, I know I would have absolutely loved this book. As an adult, I thought it was poignant and hard-hitting and very much enjoyed it, but I did not love it. I truly wish I would have read it was a pre-teen or a teen.
My Thoughts on the Audiobook:
I really loved the narrator for this book. He did an amazing job with the voices of the different characters. I particularly enjoyed the voices he did for children. The voices he did for Jonas and his sister really captured the inflection and emotions of young children, which as an adult can be hard to do.
My only negative to the audiobook is the music that they added in. At the end of chapters, the audiobooks has what I can only describe as elevator music. I do not know why they added this in, maybe to add suspense? Unfortunately, I found that it did not add to the story but instead was distracting, and made it hard to hear what the narrator was saying.