Okay, so you guys know me. I'm always one to go with the hype. I'm majorly obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent, and I'm a proud member of the Percy Jackson, Maze Runner, and The Infernal Devices fandoms. So, when I heard about The Giver being made into a movie, I decided it was time to check it out. I saw so many positive reviews and five stars on Goodreads, so I bought it on my Kindle and started reading.
I don't even know how to start describe my utter disappointment. This book was ABSOLUTELY awful. I hope I bring up some good points in this review. It is definitely going to be hard to explain what I think.
A) I find it very disturbing that this is a popular children's book. The main character, Jonas, has a dream called a "Stirring" in which he tries to invite a girl to come get in a bathtub with him. Wait, what? How is this even remotely appropriate for the recommended age group (8 years old and up)? And then he describes how he likes to enjoy bathing the Old because he "likes their nakedness." Uh... that's really awkward.
B) The character development and overall description of them was horrid. Even Jonas! I felt like I didn't know him at all, he was about as interesting as a piece of paper. And the rest of the characters acted like complete robots. I realize that it had something to do with their society's control or whatever, but he could have at least made Jonas and the Giver a little bit better. And Jonas's father was downright creepy. He was like one of those people who are maniacs and they act really nice but do evil things. (See C.)
C) That one scene where Jonas's father executes the baby. Um, did that send shivers down any one else's spine? That is downright awful and evil and creepy. Again, what is up with this young audience and WHY ARE WE LETTING THEM READ THESE THINGS? And then the Giver has known about it all along and he knows that it is a horrible thing to do and HE DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT.
D) How much time did this book skip? Seriously? First Jonas is just starting to train to be the next Receiver and then BAM a few pages later, the Giver says, "I know we've been working on this for a year now," and I was just going back to try and see what I missed. Because an ENTIRE YEAR is gone from the story.
E) The plot itself was terrible. The Giver gives Jonas memories, and for the first time, Jonas sees what it is like to have snow, and sunlight and love.
UM HELLO. News flash: LOVE IS A PART OF BEING HUMAN. YOU CAN'T JUST TAKE IT AWAY. And HOW DO YOU GET RID OF SNOW? I really don't understand. But the biggest thing that bugged me were the fact that THEY TOOK AWAY SUNLIGHT. You can't DO that or EVERYONE WILL DIE. YOU NEED THE SUN TO LIVE!!!!!
F) This deserves a letter of it's own, because I really just don't understand: the color. Once the Giver starts giving Jonas memories, he finally starts to "see color." Like, colors don't exist anymore. At all. Like, when an apple suddenly turns red, Jonas is really surprised. You can NOT take away color! You could make dyes cease to exist, but you can't make it so people's skin have no color, and you can't make an apple not red.
I don't care if your story is fictional, YOU CAN'T DO IT.
G) Finally, I hated the ending. What kind of stupid ending is that? Congrats, you win the Stupidest Ending of All Time Award. I know there is a sequel, (that came out nineteen years after the first) but I don't want to read it.