The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
Well, I just super didn't care about anything in this book. You remember when I said in my review of Divergent
that it didn't matter that nothing made sense because it was fast paced and fun? This was like the opposite of that. I was just so bored – I couldn't get invested in any of the characters because they didn't seem like real people. I know that's part of the conceit, but for god's sake. So much time was spent just talking about the mechanics of the world without anything actually going on, just... lots and lots of explaining. And then we get to the part with The Giver. And it is totally stupid. How in god's name did they remove all of the colour from the world or remove your ability to see it? Ugh. That's only the beginning of the stupidity, but there you go.
Sigh. I know I'm probably being unfair, but I didn't give a shit about what happened to Jonas. He gets to the age of adulthood, gets a job, turns out it's kind of a shitty job and kind of a great job at the same time, realises his parents aren't who he thought they were, and runs away from home. So what? This just doesn't say anything for the wider ramifications of what is happening in his world. It doesn't say anything about anything. Also I didn't quite believe that his dad was just a complete baby-murderer who behaved completely normally the rest of time. And who builds up a relationship with this little boy only to have him sentenced to death? It just doesn't really seem plausible. . Plus it kind of felt like all the different kinds of love – familial, friendship, romantic, sexual, and humanitarian, and so on, were all conflated and not really treated as separate and different phenomena. I don't think it was really well enough explored in terms of the different virtues and faults of suppressing each of these in turn. I'm not really sure what kind of point Lowry was trying to make. Trying to control entire populations to this level is bad? Shared memory makes our society more whole? Killing babies is wrong? I just don't feel like anyone gains anything from reading this that they wouldn't gain from reading 1984
and I think at the point that a child is ready for this book, they're only a few years at most off being ready for that one and they might as well wait.
Also I hate the ending. I feel like it was just one incredibly stupid set of events and then nothing happens and the books ends and you get to make up your own mind! Jesus. Nope. I was not about this book at all.
However, that said, I didn't HATE it. And the writing is nice in places, if a little sparse. And I'm nothing if not generous. I give The Giver (snerk) four out of ten.