Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
This is the third book in The Giver series, this time centering around Matty from Gathering Blue. We revisit Jonas and Gabe in this book, too, although their part of the story is not the focus. This, too, is a new utopian/dystopian society, formed from the outcasts from other supposedly utopian societies.
There is an interesting theme of materialism in this story that says a lot about the value placed on material things. The central root of this society's problems is found in just that, the need for material goods. Many of the village's people are willing to trade away most anything for something material or superficial. This entire subplot centered around the TradeMart and the mysterious man who facilitated these trades, something that I wished was more developed.
The way that the concept of utopia versus dystopia is used is fascinating. In the first book, we had a fairly technologically advanced society, one that focused on control and order and uniformity in order to create a "utopian" society. In the second, the society was far more primitive and focused on one's viable contributions to society as valuable. Anyone less capable was cast out as deficient. In this book, society is still rather primitive, created out of nothing by those cast out from other societies. Their focus was on acceptance and open-mindedness. All three of these societies have totally different values and yet all three become less than utopian. It is that point that really makes the reader think... is human nature truly capable of creating and maintaining a utopia?
There is an ending to this book that was one that I had hoped wouldn't come to pass, but it is one that had more closure than that of The Giver.
Things to love...
--Seeing Jonas and Gabe again, as well as Matty.
--Being made to really think. I love that!
Things I wanted more/less of...
--More about the gifts. Many of the people of this society have gifts, something we learned about in the second book, but we don't really know much about how these things came to be.
I think I loved this book almost as much as the first. It should definitely be read after both The Giver and Gathering Blue.