Thursday, January 16, 2014

Son by Lois Lowry

genre: middle grade/young adult

Son is the fourth book set in the world of The Giver.  I chose not to read the intermediate two books, which I think is fine since the action begins during the time of the Giver, it's just told from a different point of view.  I would, however, absolutely read The Giver first, otherwise it would be not only confusing but also would loose its emotional punch.    Also, this review will have spoilers for The Giver :)

A girl named Claire is a Vessel, but when her product is taken from her, she is unable to remain emotionally detached from it.  From him.  Her son.  The boy they took and that Claire wants back.  But just when she realizes that she cares enough to actually do something about it, Claire's life turns upside down and 2/3 of this novel is Claire's journey, both physically and emotionally, to the place where she can be with her son again.

I can't decide how I feel about it.  On the one hand, it's just dang good writing.  Lois Lowry's characters are learning amazing things about the world that we as readers take for granted and I love how she describes things like color and love and emotions.  I liked the resolution this books gives to The Giver and she fills us in on the important things from the middle two books that we need to know.  However, I would be lying if I said that it all sat well with me.  First of all, this book isn't Dystopian the way The Giver was.  I'd call it more paranormal or fantasy.  Which is fine - I happen to love fantasy - it's just that in my head this world was more of a realistic Dystopain future, so when things that are clearly paranormal/fantasy started happening, I was taken aback enough that I had to shut the book and readjust my thinking.  I had to go back to the Giver and see the events (the sharing of memories, etc.) as something more paranormal than they felt when I was reading it, otherwise it just felt like I was reading the wrong story.

All that being said, I think I just liked The Giver a lot better.  I enjoyed the ending of Son, its thoughts on evil and happiness and the importance of knowing where our hearts desires truly lie, I just wanted more from the journey.

3.5 stars

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