First Loves

Hey this is Lisa C.

This is my first love: The Giver by Lois Lowry.

I read this book first when I was around nine. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was going to pave the way to what ultimately became a passionate love affair with teen literature, and especially with (good) dystopian books for teens.

The Giver is about a boy named Jonas, who lives in a futuristic community where no feelings exist.There is no colour or love. In the December that Jonas turns twelve, he attends a ceremony with his peers at which they are all allocated their life’s assignment; all jobs that contribute to the smooth running of his community. While all of his friends get assigned jobs like Fish Hatchery Attendant and Caretaker of the Old, Jonas is assigned the unorthodox position of the Receiver of Memory. He becomes isolated from his community more and more, and as his first year in the position goes on, he discovers that all is not so perfect in this apparent utopia.

This is a short read, but one of the best things about this book is that it is re-readable. So much so in fact, that I have read this book probably around twenty-five times.  On purpose. It remains my favourite book of all time, and I consider it to be the forerunner for such books as The Hunger Games, Divergent and other dystopian teen fiction. It is part of a quartet that concludes with Son, which ties up some loose ends quite satisfyingly. I love this book. Full stop.


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