Review: The Giver

by The Dreamer

Book Review

The Giver – Lois Lowry


Behold! The first ever dystopian fiction written in the history of mankind, and I have had the privilege to read it and love it. The tale revolves around Jonas, a young boy in a post-apocalyptic community where there are no emotions, colours and differences. Sameness is emphasized and everyone lives harmoniously and peacefully. He gets chosen to be the community’s Receiver, a special job for special people like him who has the ability to “see beyond”. And thus, he embarks on a journey with the Giver to realize that the erosion of what humankind once had might not be the best, and selflessly sets out to make a change.

I honestly loved this book far more than any dystopian fiction I had ever read. Simple words with beautiful descriptions will stir up imagination and more emotions than fanciful diction ever could. I read this eagerly after watching the movie, and though I had a rough concept of what was going on, nevertheless I still experienced a riot of emotions reading this book.

I can only say that the entire plot was GOLD. Sure, the eradication of war and poverty is something the world should aim to achieve, but I still think that the beauty of the world truly comes from differences, only if we knew how to accept and cherish them. I think this novel was really thought-provoking and very touching to me. After reading this and watching the movie, I kind of saw the world from a different perspective. In Jonas’s community, humans existed, but they weren’t truly living. And this book made me realize that I should not shun pain, for it existed to intensify happiness.

This is the perfect coming-of-age novels for all those budding youths. Easy to read, filled with powerful emotions and messages, and  with a protagonist who courageously transitions from childhood to adulthood with grace and maturity. It filled me with a sense of nostalgia and gratefulness, and it is a novel where you can read over and over again and relish in the rollercoaster experience it gives you. This book defines what it really means to be alive.

(PS I really loved this review from a fellow Goodreads member. Check it out for an in-depth recount of the novel.)

 Movie Review:

The book is ALWAYS better than the movie is the golden rule that book lovers  abide by , however to me, The Giver is a special case. I liked the movie, and maybe I might have liked it better than the book. The book gives you room to imagine – how adolescent Jonas looks like, how conformity in the community looks like, how does the world transform from colourless to colourful as Jonas receives more memories, what memories he receives. The movie dazzles you with a spectacular kaleidoscope of short memories that makes you feel overwhelmed in a good way. It shows a perfect transition of the black-and-white world to one slowly filled up with one colour at a time.

I liked how there is a futuristic element in the movie, and I liked the casting ALOT. Not trying to be biased, but Brenton Thwaites is hands-down one of the hottest beings to grace the Earth this year. He has phenomenal acting and portrayed the feeling of pain, happiness and love perfectly. Even if he was eighteen in the movie and twelve in the book, to me he acted out Jonas as the same inquisitive and brave young boy. I think when you piece the book and the movie together, they blend and fill in the cracks for whatever was lacking in each element, and I thought that just made a stronger impression of The Giver in me. Both of them, propping each other up, and making their way to one of my all-time favourite book AND movie.


Reading the book, Jonas gives me the impression of young, like very young. And there wasn’t a romantic element into it, purely focusing on breaking the spell of uniformity and creating real identities for ourselves. But of course, what is a movie without a little romance.

Whatever. I think it was because an 18-year-old’s idea of love would be more concrete and believable than a 12-year-old. So when Jonas says “I love you” your heart swells.

Concept wise, it was seemingly the same concept, but it felt like the book and the movie was complete different entities. But it’s okay, I adored both of them.

I honestly totally digged the cinematography. The script flowed really well and was very touching.

I cried so much (okay maybe not that much) at this scene. Again, it just gave me a whole wave of realization and enthralled me. The emotions were ready to spill over, especially when all those memories returned, I just sobbed like shit, even when I was in the airplane and people were staring. If that doesn’t justify how much I liked this movie, I don’t know what does.

Overall, I think you should ignore the haters and go for the movie with an open mind. Even if it’s different, it encompasses the spirit and underlying meaning. And both are soul-wrenching.