Son by Lois Lowry

Hey bibliophiles!

I just finished reading Son by Lois Lowry, the last of The Giver Quartet. You can read my reviews of the other novels in the series here: The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger. Each book could essentially be a stand-alone novel, but the stories all intertwine as well. Let’s start with a summary of Son:

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Let me just say, I love The Giver series…except for this book. I think it would have been much more powerful just as a trilogy. Furthermore, Son was such a departure from the rest of the series. It stuck out like a sore thumb.The first three novels were all about weighing the needs of individuals versus needs of society; so much so that the books didn’t feel like they were about Jonas, Kira, or Matty, but they were about community. Son, on the other hand, was about Claire. Yes, there was society in the background, but it was really just her story. Which isn’t bad in general (I love plenty of books about people’s journeys), but it wasn’t what I expected from a novel in this series. Additionally, this novel was twice as long as it’s companions and was extremely detail-oriented, which stood in stark contrast to the simplistic style of the rest of the series.

There were some nice moments and a few inspiring quotes. I was reminded that we can’t let fear control our life, but we have to face it head on and we have to look forwards, not dwell on the past. But that’s about all I got out of the story.

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All in all, Son just felt repetitive and I didn’t gain as much from it as I had with the other novels. I didn’t hate the book, but I wish The Giver Quartet had stopped with Messenger. With that book, the ending was so appropriate for the series and the story lines had all tied up nicely. Son felt unnecessary.

Just as an update: I’m currently still listening to Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd and I’m going to read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare next. And don’t worry, I have Drums of Autumn, the next Outlander novel by Diana Gabaldon, on my nightstand to read as well.

Until next time, bibliophiles…

Messenger by Lois Lowry

What’s up, bibliophiles?

I’ve been reading my way through The Giver Quartet and recently finished Messenger, the third book. If you read my reviews of The Giver and Gathering Blue, you’d know that the second book in the series wasn’t really a continuation of the story first introduced in The Giver. Well, Messenger ties up the loose ends and brings the two stories together.

Here’s a little synopsis, without giving away too much of the story (NO SPOILERS!):

Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

Like the other novels in this series, this story is mainly a commentary on society, self, and how to balance the needs of one against many. It’s a discussion about the power within each of us and how we can utilize that power to affect the world around us. Especially poignant was the perception of “outsiders” in the novel. That part of the story really had an impact on me, considering the world we live in where suspicion comes so naturally. Along those lines, my blogger friend Eve Messenger recently posted a powerful story depicting that same sense of suspicion. See it here.

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I loved this novel and thought it did a wonderful job continuing the story in a meaningful and creative way. The character building was as beautiful as ever. If you loved the other novels in this series, you’ll love this one as well. But, BE WARNED, it’s not a story with a happily-ever-after ending. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Until next time, bibliophiles…

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Hello bibliophiles!

I’ve been bad… If you happened to read my New Year Resolutions blog post, you’ll know that one of my goals has been to post right after finishing a book. I finished The Giver by Lois Lowry a week ago, started a draft, and am only now finishing my post! GAH! I have to get back in the swing of things.

For anyone who might not have read the novel already (or watched the movie), The Giver is written from the point of view of Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy living in a futuristic society that has eliminated all pain, fear, war, and hatred, but also all choice. Everything from occupation to spouses are assigned by the community. When Jonas is assigned as the community’s new Receiver of Memory, he learns about the world that was compared to the world as it is.

Anywho-sies, The Giver – which I had never read in high school like everyone else apparently – was an awesome read. Simplistic in nature, the world created in the novel really draws you in. Lowry does a great job with the “show, don’t tell” concept of writing, which is huge in a novel all about emotions. I feel like I haven’t said much about the book, but it’s hard to write a long post about a novel that’s only 180 pages. Besides, The Giver stands on its own two feet as an award-winning novel with great readership.

The one quote that really stuck with me:

“He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.”

I think the quote really sums up the most important message of the novel: life is built from emotions and relationships. It would be a poor life without love.

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As an FYI, I had previously mentioned that I was listening to The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, but after a few hours, I just couldn’t anymore. I love Anne Rice and I rarely give up on a book, but I was really disappointed. Maybe if I had given it more time? I don’t know, but the book didn’t draw me in at all. The main character was so annoying, self-obsessed, spoiled, and ridiculous. Did anyone read it and enjoy it?

Anyways, I’ve started listening to Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd. I’m only about 15% through the nearly 40-hour long audiobook, but I’m enjoying it so far. I’ll keep you updated!

Now I’m off to read Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, part of The Giver series. Until next time, bibliophiles…