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The Giver | Lois Lowry | Reviewed by Anjali

I read The Giver for the first time when I was about 14 years old, and I remember loving it a lot. I think, looking back on it now, that was probably my first dystopian society type novel. I re-read this book last week, and while it was mostly familiar, there were things that stood out to me more this time round, perhaps because it was a second reading, or perhaps because I'm older now. Whatever the case, it's a great book.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, tells the story of Jonas, a young boy who is about to become a Tweleve in their society. He lives with his mother and father and younger sister, Lily, who is a Seven. The day of the Ceremony of the Twelve - the day when all the Elevens move to become Twelves - Jonas is lined up with all the others in his age group, ready to receive their Assignments. Their assignments will tell them where and what they will be in their community, whether that be an Engineer, a Nurturer, helping the elderly etc etc. His friends before him receive their assignment, but when it comes to Jonas, he is skipped over and put on hold until the end. When he eventually is given his assignment, it is one of the highest honours - he is to become the next Receiver of Memories.

As Jonas spends his afternoons with the current Receiver (who tells him to call him Giver, as Jonas is now the Receiver), learning all about the life and times in the past before the 'Sameness' came to be, he realises that life as they know it is unfair, it's unjust, it should be different. The utopia that they live in is a big lie. While the story ends before he does much about it all, it's definitely a fantastic beginning to what is, I'm sure, a great series (I have yet to read the next ones).

With hidden secrets, painful memory transfers, lying parents, best friends who are just a little bit crazy, and the new knowledge he has been given, The Giver is a great, fast paced read that is short enough to read in one sitting. If this all sounded a little familiar, it may be because the movie is coming out later in the year. While the trailer looks a lot different to the book, I think that might be a post for later on.

If you like dystopian novels, with great characters, written by award winning authors, do give The Giver a read. While it's really aimed at a younger audience, it's still a fun book for those of us who are little older.

This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from Good Reads. 

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