Blook Back: The Giver

I remember seeing this book on a lot of bookshelves when I was a kid — the image on the cover in particular stuck with me. So when I saw this as a Kindle Daily Deal, I snapped it up for only a buck.

I definitely don’t regret it, although I feel like this was a missed opportunity. The premise, which Lowry doles out with a deft, light-handed touch over the first half of the book, is the kind of science fiction I really enjoy reading. It’s a speculative what-if scenario that uses genre conventions to try and tell us more about the experience of being human.

The problem I have with the book is that it straddles the line between something that would have better served as a short story and something that could have been more fully fleshed-out and explored the premise more deeply. I suppose certain allowances have to be made, Newberry Medal and all that, for it being a book aimed at young adults.

Indeed, the book itself might serve as an introduction to the importance of pain and feeling to readers just as much as the experiences described in the novel spoke to our narrator Jonas.

In any case, I certainly don’t regret reading it, but I wouldn’t go near the other two supposed “sequels” which seems like so much cashing-in on the legacy of a story that already wrapped itself up so nicely.

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