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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I have great honor. So will you. But you will find that is not the same as power."
Dystopian teen fiction is pretty hot right now, with blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." But the grandaddy of them all was "The Giver."

And long before it became chic, Lois Lowry produced a hauntingly memorable quartet of stories set in a world where emotions are suppressed and people with gifts are imprisoned. The four books are loosely tied...
Published 8 months ago by E. A Solinas

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
OK so first things first, these are 'companion' books. I wasn't exactly sure what this meant until I read the whole set, but basically it's just three short novels, taking place in the same time frame. The characters are not necessarily the same throughout (possible spoiler alert: Jonas doesn't make another appearance until the third book). So they are very loosely...
Published 5 days ago by M. Jones


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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I have great honor. So will you. But you will find that is not the same as power.", June 28, 2014
This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
Dystopian teen fiction is pretty hot right now, with blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." But the grandaddy of them all was "The Giver."

And long before it became chic, Lois Lowry produced a hauntingly memorable quartet of stories set in a world where emotions are suppressed and people with gifts are imprisoned. The four books are loosely tied together -- the first and last most tightly -- and mingle fantasy and science fiction, with haunting prose and some very strong characters, as well as a message of compassion and acceptance.

In "The Giver," Jonas lives in a rigid, joyless community where people use emotion-deprivation pills and adhere to insanely strict rules -- they have no conflict, poverty or discrimination... but they also have no love, no fun, and no creativity. When Jonas is selected as the Receiver of Memories, he is suddenly flooded with feelings and memories of both the good and the bad from humanity's distant past.

And as he comes to realize what his people have lost in their quest to be the same, Jonas begins yearning for the world he knows must exist outside the Community. But his quest becomes a more personal one when he discovers another price for the Community's existence: the "release" of babies that they don't deem good enough. The only one who can change the Community is Gabe.

"Gathering Blue" introduces us to Kira, a young girl born with a deformed leg in another community that leaves disabled or sickly people to die in the Field of Leaving. She is only kept alive because of her skill with embroidery and weaving, so she can make the Singer's robe. As she comes to realize the horrible flaws in her village's way of life, Kira must make an important decision -- stay and try to improve things, or leave for a place that would welcome her?

"Messenger" was somewhat controversial upon its release, since some fans of "The Giver" felt that it "ruined" the bleak ending they had imagined for the first book. In takes place in Village, a community made up of outcasts, misfits and disabled people, ruled by the kindly Leader. But the Village is surrounded by Forest, a terrifying and deadly forest that kills those who venture into it -- and though the awkward teen boy Matty has been able to go there, it is now growing darker and twisted. As the Village begins to close itself off from the outside world, Matty finds that he may be the only one who can save them all.

"Son" takes us back in time to Claire, a young woman whose entire purpose is to produce babies for the Community -- and her child is the sickly baby boy known as Gabe, who vanishes with Jonas into the great unknown. Her desperation to find her son inspires her on a years-long quest to find him -- and a Faustian pact with a terrible figure who only wants suffering.

Pretty much all young-adult dystopian fiction owes a debt to the Giver Quartet -- it has young people discovering the cruelty and callousness of their societies, and finding different ways to rebel. But Lowry doesn't shy away from asking the serious questions in her story, such as lack of respect for life (if it's inconvenient or doesn't fit in), kindness, compassion, and the good AND bad roots of what it means to truly live.

Lowry's writing is simple but poetic, winding through with some quietly eloquent language ("Now, on this shattered morning, he felt nothing but knots and snarls under his fingertips"). And she fills the stories not with bombast and battle, but with tragedy and quiet triumph -- and while the story is in a future world fragmented into multiple civilizations, there's a hint of the fantastical as well. Think special powers, the mysterious Trademaster, and whatnot.

And she creates a varied collection of characters. All of them are tied together into a story that culminates in "Son," and they all have the theme of seeking to improve the cruel, callous worlds they were in -- Jonas by leaving the Community to the memories they are trying to avoid, Kira by staying and working, and Matty through self-sacrifice. Claire is the odd duck out, a young woman adrift in the world, desperate to find her baby.

"The Giver Quartet" is a haunting memorable collection of novels, some of which inspired the current widespread dystopian novels. Rich, haunting and well-written.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Boxset!, July 1, 2014
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
The entire set is great! Absolutely no complaints! As of writing this I have read The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger from this set! I am currently half way through Son, and the paper is sturdy with good weight. The dust jackets and hard cover are of good quality too! I would defiantly recommend this set!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, April 6, 2014
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Sheila Nelson (MONTICELLO, KY, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
I didn't exactly know what to expect, but once I stared reading, I couldn't stop. I love how all these books can stand alone but the real prize is how they all fit together. Brilliant!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, December 19, 2013
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
Wonderful set in a sturdy cover. Everyone in life should read the giver and this is a great set for a true fan. My brother is going to love it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, poor quality book, December 9, 2014
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Lois Lowry gets 5+ stars for these books. I have adored them for years, and just bought this boxed set for my 11 year old daughter who also adores them. But the books themselves are rather poor quality. The corners of the covers are so sharp I pounded them on a table to bend them a little after I was cut by one. The pages are thin and rough and not a pleasure to turn at all. If I had known, I would have passed on the boxed set and bought each one in a trade paperback instead.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing books!!, December 4, 2013
By 
J. Norden (Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
This series is AMAZING! I read "The Giver" at a very young age and loved it, and now as an adult, I still love these books!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
Best series of books, ever, Louis Lowry is undoubtedly my favorite author I've ever read. When I read that "Son" came out, first thing I did was order these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, February 24, 2015
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OK so first things first, these are 'companion' books. I wasn't exactly sure what this meant until I read the whole set, but basically it's just three short novels, taking place in the same time frame. The characters are not necessarily the same throughout (possible spoiler alert: Jonas doesn't make another appearance until the third book). So they are very loosely related.

I read the whole box set in one weekend, not necessarily because I found them riveting but more because they are short and not difficult to read. My favorite is the first and original book, The Giver. The other three were kind of ho-hum. Gathering Blue was kind of boring in my opinion. My first thoughts within the first 20 pages were, 'Why should I care about what happens to this girl I know NOTHING about?" Messenger was more interesting and introduced Jonas again. I enjoyed Son but found the beginning section dragged on, and the end seemed kind of rushed. The 'big baddie' was defeated all too easily - no suspense, not even a hint that our 'hero' could fail. Strange pacing. Also, in Gathering Blue it was made clear that Kira could not have kids, yet in the last book she magically has two of them?

Overall, I enjoyed the books but I'm not sure I would read them again. I didn't have the feeling of WOW WHAT A RIDE, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THAT AGAIN! but more a feeling of, OK so I've read those books, what's next?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful boxed set!, June 16, 2014
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Amazon Customer "Leeann" (PEMBERVILLE, OHIO, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set (Hardcover)
The Giver boxed set is exactly what my 15 year old daughter requested....I'm very happy with the purchase and will continue my relationship with Amazon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you have nothing better to do read them, February 26, 2015
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Meh... That about the most that these books inspired. I bought these as a gift for my younger sister, but read them before I gave them to her. The Author has a story with such great potential, but fails to really tap into it. There are just to many fantastical things that happen is these storied that she offers no explanation for whatsoever. Its really a shame as they have the potential to be some of the best I've read. Maybe the Author with revisit these stories and make better sense of them...
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The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set
The Giver Quartet 20th Anniversary boxed set by Lois Lowry (Hardcover - November 5, 2013)
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