Movie/TV Show vs. Book (#40): The Giver

Here’s what Lois Lowry said about a film based on a book in the introduction of The Giver:

“The important thing is that a film doesn’t obliterate a book. The movie is here now. But the book hasn’t gone way. It has simply grown up, grown larger, and begun to glisten in a new way.”


The Book

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas. The society has taken away pain and strife by converting to “Sameness”, a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives.

Source: Wikipedia
Image Source: Goodreads


I bought this book instead of buying The Lost Symbol and completing the Robert Langdon series (this was long before Origin came out). Even my friend that worked at the bookstore told me to get the other book but I was adamant that I wanted this one and would you look at that…I finished this one and have yet to start Angels & Demons. This book went ridiculously fast and I found myself never wanting to put it down. The concept was amazing and it really makes you realise that ignorance is in fact bliss. Imagine being the same as everyone else, things are chosen for you and there is no such thing as freedom, because why would you need it?

The Movie

Image result for the giver movieThe Giver is a 2014 American social science fiction film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff BridgesBrenton ThwaitesOdeya RushMeryl StreepAlexander SkarsgårdKatie Holmes and Cameron Monaghan.[3] The film is based on the 1993 novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.


Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Google Images


It took me a while to get to this movie mainly because I was never in the mood to watch it. It requires concentration and my mind wasn’t up for it. I do think that there was some extra information added since the book ends on a ‘what happens next?’ situation and I haven’t read the entire Giver Quartet but I do like the way they went about with the execution. The fact that they actually started the movie out ‘bland’ was amazing and I loved that.

The Decision

This is a tough one for me mainly because I genuinely liked both the book and movie very much. I liked the vibe of the movie and I felt that it’s worth another watch so I’m going with the movie for this one. I don’t know if I’ll read The Giver again but I’m definitely continuing with the quartet.

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Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)Goodreads Synopsis

“I have great honor,” The Giver said. “So will you. But you will find that is not the same as power.”

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment injustice…or choice.

Everyone is the same.

Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community’s twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life’s work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test—when he must try to save someone he loves—he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?


In The Giver, things such as inequality, conflict…choice in general are foreign concepts. Everything and everyone are assigned to what and who they’d be best suited with. No one argues with this because that would ruin the image of perfection.

After I finished this book I had to take a few days to gather my thoughts because I honestly had no idea how I felt about the story as a whole. Lois Lowry wrote what is in my opinion a great book. The idea of the plot is just so…out there. Like, imagine a perfect world. Imagine if people could achieve this perfect world, where being ‘different’ isn’t a thing. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and there’s no room for judgement, rudeness or conflict.

I didn’t read the synopsis, which is not unusual for me so I went in not knowing anything really. The idea did occur to me that yes, a world where there’s no hate, no war…no hunger, would be perfect and amazing. I found myself wishing for just that but then I stopped to think: at what cost would all of this be possible? And that right there is the punchline to the joke that in actual fact is not a joke at all.

This book is categorised as ‘Middle Grade’ and I personally believe that that’s only because of how old the main character, Jonas, is. He’s eleven when all this starts so he’s starting to see the world in a new light. Asking more questions that in this community, one is not supposed to ask. There’s nothing middle grade about this book though. I found this to be horrific but not in a scary close-your-eyes way, more like…when the image is put in your mind, and you think of what goes on behind the scenes, it’s frightening. I think this is where the term ‘ignorance is bliss’ comes in. These people don’t know what they’re missing, so it’s not a problem for them.

I did like that this was told from a child’s point of view. Jonas has this innocence about him. He starts out as a curious kid and in the end, he’s fighting for his life. All because of him knowing the truth. Not many people like change, but I think this was taking it to a new level.

Heaven alone knows why I took so long to get to this book because I thought it was amazing. Once I had a free moment, I finished it and I couldn’t decide where I stood with everything. I’m still in a state of- I want to say confusion.

Lois Lowry did an excellent job with this book. I greatly enjoyed her writing style and look forward to continuing The Giver Quartet.

Read: 13 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 1 July 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Lois Lowry

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