First Lines: 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.
This book has caught my attention since it was on the Great American Reads list last summer and did so well. And then this month, this was an option for my students to read in a book project, so I decided I needed to read it.
In the community, everything is planned to perfection. Your job, your spouse, your kids. Everything big has been decided for you and no one minds because it creates stability. There’s no unemployment, no divorce, no fighting…and no choice. Everyone is the same, except for Jonas. At twelve, it is time for Jonas to begin his training for his future career. But while everyone else is getting normal jobs, Jonas is chosen for something really special. He begins his work with a mysterious man known only as The Giver and discovers that power lies in feelings. And when someone he loves is threatened, Jonas has to decide how far he’s willing to go to break society’s rules.
Ok, I know that some of what I say is going to be controversial here, since it’s such a beloved book. But I had a hard time getting into the story.
First of all, I thought everything started off so slow. I know it’s world building (and there were definitely interesting parts to that), but I didn’t really get into the story right away. I couldn’t connect. I didn’t start connecting until we finally got to the Ceremony of Twelve.
I liked the scenes involving The Giver and Jonas. Those were an interesting commentary on our world and theirs. And I liked seeing the way Jonas suddenly saw his world after. That was all really interesting.
But I felt like the plot wasn’t full enough. Everything, to me, felt rushed. I didn’t feel like we saw enough with the Giver, that we saw why their world was the way it was. And that ending? Totally abrupt. I didn’t care for that, even though I think it’s supposed to be that way for a reason.
Maybe I’m just outside the demographic. Maybe because I didn’t have an attachment to it as a child, it doesn’t appeal to me as much. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t my book.