Review: The Giver

Series: The Giver: #1

I first read the Giver a dozen or more years ago now for a class. I’ve re-read it a few times since then and even watched the recent movie (Jeff Bridges makes an excellent Giver, but other than that it’s just … not good). In all of these readings, I never quite got around to reading the sequels. I guess it’s about time to give them a try.

In a nutshell, The Giver takes place in what feels like any of a dozen other young adult nearish future dystopias (The Giver being among if not the progenitor of the genre), where everyone knows their place everything is perfect. Except… not really. In The Giver’s particular interpretation, everyone is assigned their job at the age of 12.

Jonas’ job? To receive memories of the past.

It’s a cool concept and there’s a wonderful sense of tension running through the book. As the reader, you know before Jonas does that something is off about his world, but both the reader and Jonas learn together just how deep the wrong goes.

Having not read any of the sequels, I’m thoroughly confused how there even can be a sequel. Jonas dies. I know that’s left up to the reader, but at least so far as I’m concerned, that’s how I’ve already interpreted the last chapter. His mind conjured up one last memory for him and that’s it.

I guess I’ll just have to see how it goes.