Home / Book Club Picks / The Original Dystopia | Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry + Movie Speculations

The Original Dystopia | Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry + Movie Speculations

Although I missed reading this in high school, I’m so glad I finally read The Giver now. Especially with the movie coming out this summer!!

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry + Movie Speculations

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the giver by lois lowry book review

Title & Author: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Dystopia, Classics

Release Date: January 1, 1993

Series: The Giver Quartet #1

Publisher: Ember

How I Got the Book: Bought – Book Club Pick


“Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.”

The Book

Check out The Giver discussion questions HERE!

The The Giver was so much more than I expected. A few things really surprised me:

  • How simple the language was
  • How many other dystopias pull from this book’s ideas
  • How short it was

I have to say, too, that this is a perfect book to discuss at a book club or with another YA fan. With so few pages, you’d think the book would be simplistic, but there are so many big concepts to think about.

It says so much that you can see little things here and there from current dystopias that you can link back to The Giver.

I’ll give a few examples: The idea of being assigned a spouse is seen in the Matched series by Ally Condie. The concept of dulled senses and a removal of heightened emotion reminds me of Delirium.

And the erasing of a society’s history can be seen in so many dystopias I can’t even count them.

A part from being one of the first, The Giver also carries the distinction of standing the test of time. It’s a book Lowry still receives fan/hate mail about, and one that particularly touches kids the most.


Other than highly recommending that you read this book if you haven’t already, I’m not sure there’s too much I can say about this YA classic that hasn’t already been said. This book will make you remember the first time you realized truths about your world that you wished you hadn’t learned. The Giver is truly outstanding.

My Movie Hopes

The Giver movie will premiere August 15. Here’s the trailer:

What do you think?!

For me, the only accuracy sticking points I have would be how Jonas comes to meet The Giver and what happens at the end with Jonas and Gabriel. I already sense some mucking about with that…but I’m hoping for the best.

Also, Jonas is supposed to be 12 years old, and that actor looks like he’s about 17. Hmmmm…

I wonder how they’ll handle the color scenes. I would hope for a dramatic change, but I think they didn’t create any before and afters (from what I can tell).

Are you excited about the movie? What are your must-not-changes for The Giver book to movie transition?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • alas3lads

    This is one of those books that I’ve always meant to read but never have. I didn’t even know they were making it into a movie. I’m definitely going to read it soon and look forward to seeing it on the big screen.