Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Kelley York, Heather McCorkle, Christa Desir, and E.R. King of YAtopia are hosting the DARK YA blogfest.
The theme for this blogfest:
23rd November: #YASAVES—Blog about how a dark YA book made an impact in your life.

After my daughter was born, and when The Whirlwind was napping, I never got the hang of catching up on sleep - I was too busy reading. One book cut through my idyll.

In The Giver, Lois Lowry created a society where drugs suppress emotions, where individuals are matched as partners, where one male and one female child – born to women designated as Birthmothers – are allocated to couples to create balanced families: I felt this world resonate through mine.
Genetic engineering had manipulated human beings so they couldn't even see in colour, so they physically conformed to Sameness. In this world, everyone had the same dark eyes, except Jonas – and a few other exceptions – who were born with pale eyes.
All members of the society had to abide by rules. If anyone broke the rules three times they could be punished by Release. With a child who already showed an inability to understand that societal norms applied to him, the unfolding of what Release meant was very chilling.
The Community’s Committee of Elders would meet to assign each 12-year-old the job they would perform for the rest of their lives in The Ceremony of Twelve.
Jonas, the central character in the novel turned Twelve.
During the Ceremony of Twelve, the Elder did not call Jonas.
After everyone else has been given their Assignment, the Chief Elder explained that Jonas would train to be the Receiver of Memories. Another had been selected, sometime in the past, but that Receiver was considered to be a failure.
In his new role, Jonas watched his father care for baby twins. Selecting the lighter child, his nurturing father gave one baby a lethal injection and dumped the body in the rubbish.
The world had once included violence, sadness, and loss, as well as love, beauty, joy, adventure, animals, and family.
Jonas realised that the extremes were better than being dulled and inhumane.
This dark novel impressed me, deeply.
I think it still has the power to reach teenagers and other authors, today.


  1. Wow. That lethat injection part sounds intense. Here's yet another book I haven't heard about and now want to read.

  2. Hi Brinda
    The way the dark underbelly of this Utopia was revealed was masterful. I hope you find it as compelling as I did.

  3. wow, that IS a dark novel. I can see why it made an impact on you.

  4. It's on my list - thanks for the review :)

  5. What did you think of the end? I certainly wasn't expecting a sequel.

  6. I seen this book everywhere for years now but I've never actually read it. I think I'll have to add it to the list.

  7. The Giver is amazing. And so are all her other books, really. My kids learned to read with Gooney Bird Greene. She is so incredible. Great choice. #yasaves

  8. Hi Lynda
    The book was powerful and for me, it was all about the timing.

    Hi MS and MJ
    I'd say The Giver is well-worth the read. It is inspirational.

    Hi Angelhorn
    It is true, it felt very complete. I cried buckets.

    Hi Christa
    I agree, Lois Lowry has an amazing voice.

  9. The Giver is on of the best and most influential books I've ever read. I almost used it in my answer for this week's post as well. I think it's truly an amazing story.
    - http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

  10. Hi SL
    It is an amazing book. Although I have to say your choices - The Potters and Hunger Games - were great too.