Review: The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1993 first published
Publisher: Ember
Point of View: 3rd Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Life, Family, Friendship


Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


Woah, I can easily understand why such a grand amount of people loved this book and definitely see why many were not satisfied with the movie. I cannot believe how many elements of this story they changed. However, there is something that I must admit: I preferred the movie because of how melancholic and hopeful it made me feel and for the suspense inside it that the book irrevocably lacked. It is not something that I hear myself say often at all. I have always been that little full of criticism girl who could not help but compare books to movies and movies to books. Quite a negative experience I tend to have with the latter. I mean, Red Riding Hood (trailer), starring Amanda Seyfried, was enticing! Reading the film-to-novel adaptation though felt like walking through mud – tiring, boring, and endless. Why I granted it a three star rating is beyond me.

Let’s just put that aside though. After all, it is of The Giver that I shall talk about and my time spent reading the story was definitely not wasted – hence the four star rating – even if not what I anticipated. First, the hero was very young, a detail that I seemed to have forgotten before starting this read. Not a problem though, for Jonas showed an impressive and admirable maturity in his character. Even I, at twelve, and others around me at that time, were not as reflective, wise and…intelligent. Sure, math held no secrets from me, but I was not actually resolving problems for the greater good or aware of the true face of the world. As opposite as the situation and context definitely were, the fact remains that Jonas lead this story with greatness and, along the way, opened my eyes to some beautiful themes.

It shook me to witness how unimportant Fiona appeared and how no chemistry was palpable between Jonas and her. Apparently, they were friends through Ashen mostly, or at least that is what I deducted. Of course, they volunteered together but it is not as if they talked and shared moments like true friends normally do. Plus, we could barely see her because of how her presence was omitted. Ashen was definitely endearing in this while, in the cinematographic adaptation – I apologies for bringing it up again – I growled at him continuously.

This was another example of a book with fine simplistic writing. My first one, I believe, was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Then I discovered some others and familiarized myself with this type of writing. I am completely in favour of it since it can bring such a peaceful atmosphere to stories and make the reader easily understand every detail written. However, there is something that I unluckily often stumble upon when this style is present and this was no exception: repetition. But maybe it is easier to distinguish it since everything in the writing is clearer?

Even though I brought up an equal – or so it seems – amount of positive and negative elements for The Giver, I must let you know that the negative ones never bothered, annoyed or frustrated me. They were there, and I was aware of them, but never let any of those weaknesses keep me from enjoying my read. Because I did. So much.

PS. For a couple of minutes, I thought that I just read one of the first dystopian books ever written, but this list proved me the contrary.

22 thoughts on “Review: The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

  1. It’s great that you had a good time witht this one like that. I’m intrigued but I didn’t realize there was a movie so maybe that before the books as I have many of them to read right now. Thanks Lola!


  2. Ooh this seems like a brilliant dystopian! I was really intrigued by the movie trailer but never ended up watching the movie because well, I MUST SHOW MY BOOK NERD PRIDE AND READ THE BOOK FIRST!

    Lovely review, hun <33


  3. I remember reading this..last year maybe? I liked it but I found it kind of sad for some reason. I did just recently watch the movie and I actually loved it!

    I am happy you liked this so very much Lola!


  4. I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time and the whole quartet is even on my wishlist but I never make up my mind about ordering it or not. You know my feelings towards dystopian… I’m a bit tired of the genre. However, I’m glad you like it because I trust you. Maybe I’ll ask for it on my birthday? Who knows!
    Great review! ^^


  5. Lowry’s The Giver is in my top 5 favorite books! I read it in secondary school and several times in college when I needed an escape from academic readings. You’re absolutely correct about the book not being one of the first dystopians. Some classics are Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. I read the first five chapters of the latter before, but I just didn’t have time to finish it. But I plan to revisit 1984 next month and hopefully complete it!

    Do you intend to read the other 3 books of The Giver series? I enjoyed them all.

    In regard to the film, I was utterly heartbroken. It felt like an invisible stranger was stabbing me on my chest throughout the film. To me the movie wasn’t an adaptation of The Giver—they changed so many details that ruined it for me.


  6. This sounds fantastic! Admittedly, I have never considered reading this book and the popularity might have something to do with it. Heck, I didn’t even know there was a movie. But it seems like a fantastic dystopian novel, so I should probably get around it reading it soon. Lovely review, Lola! 🙂


  7. I skimmed this review because this book is sitting pretty on my kindle. *wink* Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I won’t even watch the movie until I read the book. I am a serious Meryl Streep fan. But 4 out of 5 stars means it’s good and I can’t wait to read it!!! 🙂


  8. It’s interesting reading the point of view of someone who watched the movie first! They definitely changed so many things. I think for me, I had such a fondness for the quietness of the book and its message, that I felt it was somewhat overlooked in the movie. But I can totally see why you would prefer the movie to the book!


  9. I LOVED the book, so I had huge hopes for the movie. I was not disappointed at all! I actually liked that they changed some things because it made the movie more… relatable? The ending really gave me goosebumps. Great review, Lola! I agree about the writing. It WAS simplistic, mainly because it was marketed towards children.


  10. I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I read it eons ago, when I was 14 or 15 for school and LOVED it. I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t compare it to the book. But since you gave it so much praise, I’m tempted to see it. It’s been a while since I read The Giver, but I do remember that the style was fairly simple. If I remember correctly the book is aimed at 12-15 yr or even younger, so it might explain its style. Great review Lola!

    By the way, it’s Carla Wynker, I just decided to blog Under my real name now Sarah H. I also changed my blog name and address:


  11. This is one of my all-time favorite books Lola, so I am so glad to see you liked it so much! It’s just so thought-provoking – what would it be like to like in a world like Jonas’s with no color or differences? – and that’s what really kept me hooked the whole way through. Plus, that ending was absolutely brilliant. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <33


  12. I can understand the dilemma of watching movies of my beloved books,the Harry Potter movies spoilt all the fun for me. 😦 But I have also come across a couple of movies which have been better executed than their bookish counterparts.I have neither read nor watched The Giver yet,but I have heard about its deeply philosophical nature.Some people have compared its world building to Plato’s Republic.What do you think?


  13. I also thought The Giver was a good book as well! I can’t really compare the movie and book because I read it so long ago, but I enjoy both anyways. And yes you’re right, I remember the writing being very simplistic but also very meaningful.


  14. I had to read The Giver in middle school for a grade and even then I enjoyed it! Although, before I figured out that the published date is on the cover, I thought the book was super, super old haha! Turns out it’s only a couple decades old! I need to reread it soon! Lovely review!


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