Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

A Book Review: The Giver


Lois Lowry, an acclaimed American author of children and young adult books, describes a society of Sameness that holds a dark truth, learned by a twelve-year-old boy who became the key to bring back humanity to their community in the Giver (April 26, 1993, HMH Books). The novel won the John Newbery Medal in 1994 and was turned into a movie in 2012.

After the ruins, the Elders turned off the memories and colors of the past by creating a society governed by rules that ensures order and peace throughout the community. Intensive emotions such as love, desire, and anger are tempered with the precision of language --- say enjoy instead of love; eager instead of frightened.

The community is composed of family units with two children each, a boy and a girl. Every year, children from one to eleven years old are recognized in front of all citizens as they moved up to the next age level respectively, receiving an object that marks a milestone. For instance, children are given a jacket with front buttons at the Ceremonies of Seven; a bicycle at the Ceremonies of Nine; and, an assignment at Ceremonies of Twelve --- nurturer, birthmothers, engineers, doctors, laborers, and other important jobs in the community.

Jonas was chosen to do the most important job, the successor to the Receiver of Memory who holds the memory of the people and for the people including all the joyful and painful ones --- birthdays, music, fun, starvation, animal cruelty, and war. However, some parts were too painful for Jonas to take that the Giver and he devised a plan to give back the memories of the past to the citizens.


The Giver is the first dystopian novel I read back in 2000 and it still fascinates me after reading it again. I am amazed at the world Lowry created, the rules, the way of living, and the things they give up just to avoid pain of love, loss, and being human as a whole. To be human is to feel love and pain; rejecting this truth brings more harm than good.

As I read along, I enjoyed getting to know the characters that are memorable. The community with its own unique, bland culture is fascinating. The ending left me hanging though and I was curious as to what happened to Jonas, Gabriel, and the citizens when they remembered the memories.

The Giver is an easy read but enjoyable. You get transported to a world so different from what we know. Our society is far from perfect but with love, life is more meaningful.

Discussion Questions

1. How important are the rules in the community described in The Giver?

2. How do they deal with people who break the rules?

3. How important are the rules in our life nowadays?

4. What is the best way to deal with people who break the rules?

5. What do you think about the precision of language?

6. Every citizen has a role in the story. In the present time, how does a person find his or her role in the society?

7. Which character did you identify with and why?

8. What is the impact of The Giver on you?

9. What do you think about the ending?

10. What could've happened to the community after the citizens retrieved the memories of the past?

Further Information

Title: The Giver (Giver Quartet, Book 1)

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian Novel, Science Fiction

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint, Media Tie In edition (April 26, 1993)

Publication Date: April 26, 1993

Print length: 99 pages

ASIN: B003MC5N28