The Giver: Or Why understanding the past is important to building the future

The Giver - Lois Lowry

I think if I had read this book as a youth (which is the age this book is written for) I would have really loved it. In fact, it feels a little unfair to rate it as low as I have simply because I am reading this as an adult. I've read a great many teen dystopian books, and I can only imagine what it would be like reading this with a fresh perspective back when it was released. Alas, I can only rate it as the person I am now, here at this point in my life.

 

The world crafted by Lowry is well realized, interesting, and disturbing. The makings of a good dystopia. I looked forward to every new detail, and the earlier world building chapters were by far my favorite part of the book. The characters aren't as well developed, though I think that is in part the simplistic brush used to paint them for younger readers, in addition to the fact that there are really only two characters in the book that *could* be fleshed out. The real trouble with this book comes from the predictability of the plot. (Again, I understand that this is a kid's book.) It progressed as expected, until an ending I personally found unsatisfying. When I got to the final page all I felt was underwhelmed. Unfair? Probably. But I can't help but wish that this book was more than what it was.