Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son (The Giver, #4)Son by Lois Lowry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Giver is one of my favorite books of all time. It touched me in its simplicity, the magnitude of its meaning and the great message it carried. Because of this, I loved Lois Lowry. The Giver was a revelation. So, when she released Gathering Blue and Messenger, I read those as well. They were not as good as The Giver. Very few things will be. I didn't mind suspending belief for a bit for The Giver, or turning a blind eye to gaping plot holes. The book was just good, good in its message and how inspirational it was. was so good.

So, I am at a bit of a loss with Son, the culmination to the quartet. First issue. Why is it 393 pages? It was mostly side plots and fluff. The book is separated into three parts (Before, Between and Beyond). It lets us know what happened to Jonas, Gabe and Kira. It also introduces us to a new character, Claire. The 'Before' part was very good and well told. You got to know Claire, like her and root for her. She is an extremely likable character. And the book seemed good and then halfway through Between, it all went downhill. Implausible thing upon implausible thing. From memory loss, to a cliff (that happened to be the only way out....really? just get on a boat!), to the most boring training ever. [[SPOILER ---- really took that long?! I rock climb, it doesn't take THAT long to get into that good of a physical shape, it takes long but 6-7 years!? ----END SPOILER].

Yeah...The between community, also had its issues, none with good conclusions or explanations. As pointedly as we saw the issues in the other communities in the book, the one in Between is barely acknowledged, as if there is nothing wrong with gender inequality. As many issues as the community of The Giver and Son (at the beginning), I liked its egalitarianism and gender neutral view of work. This new community had the issues of women's virtue, and women tending the house and blah blah blah.

Then the book took a nose dive. The character of Gabe was just so... meh. Besides his gift, we don't see that much to make him as special as Jonas or Claire were. Or even Kira. The introspection was minimal, just introducing us to him, what he wants and his gift. Really, he was kind of bratty.

And then the end... really? Jonas, Kira and Matty all went through transitions, travels and troubles that took them years. It allowed them to grow, they saw the world a different way. They learned in a gradual and clear way. This Gabe kid went all epiphany on us [[SPOILER ----- after internally saying that what he needed to talk to Jonas about was more important than Jonas sitting with a dying woman, accompanying her in her deathbed, what a brat! ----- END SPOILER].

I hated writing this review. I absolutely adore The Giver and even like Gathering Blue and Messenger. But, this book pales in comparison to the former titles. I honestly wish, Lois Lowry had ended with Messenger.

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