The Giver - Lois Lowry This story has one of the most believable and terrifying society structure. Every family in Community consists of mother, father, and two kids - a boy and a girl. They share their fears and dreams with each other every day. Jonas is a 12-year old boy who has a caring family, interesting school and good friends. At first sight, life in Community seems perfect - there’s no war, no hunger, no death or pain, everything is perfectly predictable and safe.

Birthmothers are selected women who deliver babies they never even see. Newborns are given to a new family at the age of 1, along with their Comfort Object (usually a stuffed toy) which is taken away at the age of eight. They are given bicycles and new clothes (uniforms) at certain age. Old people are Released from Community but nobody knows or even cares what that means. The most important age is when a person turns 12 and he’s assigned a certain role in Community. Jonas has no specific skills or interests so he’s unsettled and even scared of which role he’ll get. Everybody’s shocked when he gets assigned as a memory Receiver, which is one of the most important roles in Community. During the sessions with The Giver, Jonas sees memories from previous generations and realizes how deficient the community he lives in truly is.

This story hit me really hard. It made me feel grateful for everything we have in our society, especially free will and individuality. What at first looked like a perfect world - utopia - soon turned out to be full of shocking flaws. I suspected some of these, but realization was so harsh and cruel I could barely continue reading and at one point I cried a little. We all wish for a world of peace and happiness where there’s no war, pain or hunger. This book gives you that world - but also its cost. The one thing that really got me thinking was when Jonas learned some hard things about his society and The Giver asked him, if he could change anything, wouldn’t he want this life for the people he loved?

I need to point out some things that bothered me. Firstly, the Community is very small so I was wondering how the rest of the world is structured, but we don’t get the answer to that question. I also think the ending was a bit weird. I didn’t know what’s going on and what happens next. It was very confusing. But I still liked this story a lot.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves the concept of dystopian fiction. Lowry made this world very believable, the society frightening and dehumanized. There’s no romance, so it’s not like other YA dystopias coming out lately. It deserves being tagged as a dystopian classic and I’m glad this book is a school read, though sadly not in my country.

Find this review and more on my blog: