Earlier this month I read Son by Lois Lowry, and after reading that I decided it was time to go back and re-read The Giver as well as the other books in the series.
When I read The Giver in high school, it was really my first go at a dystopian science fictiony type of book. I really didn't get it. I could sense though, that there was something special about this story. Now, reading it again years later, it makes me smile that I have in fact grown up and grown in understanding.
There are many things I love about this book. I love the way it shocks you. Some of the ideas in the book, everyone being equal, for one, are ones that people often view as lofty ideals. Also, releasing people when they've served their time, or are not needed, might on the surface make sense. It works in Jonas' community for many people! However, as he starts to realize what he's missing, he can't swallow living in that community anymore.
This book makes me feel like I need to focus more on what is really in my heart. I need to not worry so much about tradition and ties to expectations from other people. I need to be more willing to do things I want to do. I need to follow my dreams and do what I really love.
Some might assume I'm reading this because the movie is out right now. I'm a little curious about the movie, but a little afraid it might ruin the special relationship I have with the book (did I ever mention I'm not a huge movie fan anyway?). My book club picked Son for our read for this month, and perhaps that was because of the movie. Not sure. I'm leaving the option open. Still undecided.
It's always interesting to read a variety of opinions on GoodReads. Most people give The Giver a high rating. But there are a few ones. Check one out here. You can search others, if you're really interesting. I only bring this up because I remember talking with a friend who was really upset that her kid was reading this book in school. She thought it was a TERRIBLE book. I can't remember all her reasons. I just remember having the conversation and thinking, 'isn't it great that a book can bring out so many strong emotions?' There's one thing for sure - Lois Lowry does that with this one.