Thursday, July 24, 2014

low expectations & five reasons for it!

Have you read The Giver? Well, it's easily my favorite book of all time. And, just a heads up, I'm going to talk lots about the book here, so there might be a spoiler. You might want to skip this post till you read the book. But, your call!

I think this book was the beginning of all the Hunger Games, Divergent, kids-who-think-they-can-do-whatever-they-want books. (Hektor calls them that. As we left the movie Divergent, he said, "Yeah, if kids keep watching these movies, they're going to just do whatever, like punch someone for no reason. and then when someone asks them why, their response? You know what it will be?  <he stops, stands with his hands on his hips and all authoritatively says> I'm divergent." hahhahaa


The premise: Jonah lives in a perfect community. The people of this community live in peace because they have learned the lessons of the past. There is no hunger, there is no war, there is no conflict. There is also no choice.

In the story, children go to school until age 12. During this time, they are observed carefully by the elders, and then placed into a job that suits them. When they are old enough, they apply for a spouse and are placed with someone. When the couple is ready for children, they apply and may have up to two kids. Everything is perfectly planned and executed.

So, there's no choice.

But there is also no pain.

Jonas' assignment (job) when he turns 12 is to be the new Receiver of Memory. So Jonas learns the past and all of the bad stuff that happened that made his community go to this no choice, nothing bad system. He also learns what love is. And sees color for the first time in his life. And enjoys simple delights like sledding and laying on a beach.

You can see how Jonas is put in this strange situation knowing what he learns...

I've been hoping for this to become a move for years. It's now time. Here's the trailer:

So yesterday, when my bff posted the trailer on my facebook asking me if I saw the trailer, I was like, "Yeah! Can't wait!" Then, facebook suggested I read this article:

And yes, I have some of the same concerns. Like.....

Color - in the book, in Jonas' community, no one sees in color. Jonas begins to suspect he is different when an apple that he is tossing around with his best friend starts to change, but he can't explain how. When he meets The Giver (the man who will pass all the memories of the world to him) he finally learns what color is and the Giver shares all of the colors with him. Jonas had no idea what he'd been missing out on.

In the movie - it looks like the color thing may not have been attended to. Not cool. This was one of the big surprises that kids reading the book with me always enjoyed finding out about!

Jonas is supposed to have light eyes - all kids with the ability to receive memories have light eyes. In the movie - looks like he has dark eyes. Was this really that hard to fix? Give the main actor some contacts or pick someone else!

The Daily Injections - It looks like in the movie there are some kind of daily injections. This is not like the book. In the book, the kids had to take a pill daily once they hit puberty - a pill so that their hormones wouldn't go crazy and attract them to someone else. You know, since they apply for babies and all, you can guess that they don't make their own babies, so gotta put a stop to having any feelings toward anyone who isn't your assigned spouse.

The Injections in the book were for Release - a much more permanent solution to some "problems" the community faced. I'll leave it at that, as this is a big issue in the book!

The spaceship that is catching Jonas in the end of the trailer? Unless this is some dream sequence, this is so not how things happened. But that baby Jonas has, that's legit. I hope they did that part right!

and one little thing I can deal with - When the Giver passes the memories to the movie it's through their hands grabbing one another. I don't know if I just made it up or it was in the book that Jonas would lie down, face down, and the Give would put his hands on his back to transmit the memories. Now, this isn't something that is making me as upset as the other changes, but in trying to round out five things here, there you go.

Jury's still out on this one....

Well, I know the movie is definitely not going to meet my expectations. I guess the movie producers thought that they had to have more action and drama to sell it, but it makes me sad it's not going to be true to the book. But, what movie ever is?

Finally, I share with you my interpretation of the ending. I actually didn't like the book until I thought about it in this way! Shoutout to Val Grimes for this enlightenment! :-)

You know Jonas leaves the community for Elsewhere with Gabriel? They're out traveling a long time and then it ends by Jonas and Gabe sledding down a hill and arriving at a house. And they look in the windows. And he sees love, and he has some certain feeling towards the family inside. He sees a few different generations and feels like he fits in there.

Well what I think? I think when he left the community and went on that journey, he was gone for about a year. And that in his travels, he did a loop somehow, and he ended up back where he started. But, since he left, all the memories went back out to the general population. Over the course of the year, they dealt with them and now that he's arriving back, he recognizes the family because they are his family, waiting for him.

and so it's a happy ending!

This is the thing about reading - it's always interpretation! If I have any debaters, I'll go find the book and give you some hard evidence, but that's what I think it's all about! :-)

Are you going to see the movie? Have you read the book? What do you think?

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  1. Good morning! Nope, I haven't read the book. I may just have to do that, though...and skip the movie! I definitely like it better when my visualizations of characters, settings and so on, stay put the way I created them in my head, without a movie producer messing with with everything. :)

  2. Can't wait for the movie!!! It looks amazing. I read the book and taught it once... and honestly- I don't like the book much :( But the movie trailer looks amazing and I definitely want to see it. I read Monuments Men and didn't like it but I LOVED the movie so there you have it.

  3. I read the book at least 15 years ago (before I had any children). I don't remember much, but this year when my then 8th grader read it for school I was a little creeped out. How did he get old enough to read a book like this? Maybe I should read it again to be ready for the movie...

  4. Have you read Son? I read that this summer! I LOVED IT!

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  5. Not a huge fan of the Giver I know that is so bad. Not sure about the movie it looked a lot different then the book that I remember but I did read it a long time ago. Maybe I should give it another try.

  6. I read the Giver this year since one of my 4th graders read it and wanted to discuss it. I absolutely loved it!! I can't wait for the movie but like you, I am always weary about the differences. Here's ot hoping it's great!

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  7. Have you finished the series? [If your mind is blown that this book is in a SERIES then welcome to my world 2 years ago]. The Giver is BY FAR the best of the 4 books but the final book, Son really pulls everything together.
    I am also very skeptical about the movie but I will see it anyway. Don't we all know that the movies are NEVER as good as the book?!

  8. I first read this book in middle school and LOVED it! I can't wait for the movie!

  9. I am not going to read this post, because I just bought the book last week (on your recommendation). Hopefully I will actually read it!


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