Yet another book that I have a hard time talking about because it’s one of those that I’ve read so much growing up, and it’s hard for me to look at completely critically because it’s been a part of my reading life for so long. My biggest memory with The Giver is rereading it on multiple visits to my aunt’s house, this and A Wrinkle in Time. A few years ago, I remember facepalming over an illustrated version of The Giver because “No, you’re going to ruin the best reveal in the whole book because you’re showing that this is literally a world without color and it’s such a shock to me when I figured that out and why. Why would you do this.” (This is why I’m iffy on the idea of the book being turned into a movie, for the same reason. I mean, yay but…the thing. It’s not going to work.) The reason I think that this has lasted so long is that The Giver manages to be a complex book without sounding too complex. (And the inclusion on n-illonth reading lists for the last twenty years, but there’s a reason for that too.) Even the idea of the dystopia in here is actually a double-edged sword: you’re going to be content and pleased, but at the cost of your personal freedom. And what I also really liked is—and this might be my current somewhat apathy to recent YA dystopias—that the ending isn’t Jonas completely shattering the order of his Community (although I think that’s what the Giver plans on doing), but rather, going out into the world and trying to build a better world by using what he’s experienced and moving from there. (From what I know of the sequels. I’ve read Gathering Blue years ago, and I need to do a big read of the whole quartet.) (Can I just touch on the fridge horror of this book. Dear God that scene with the twin’s release is so disturbing, and rereading it as I’m older—the first mention of release is completely disturbing. Gaaah.)There’s a reason why this book has endured and is so popular after so long. (Umpteenth appearances on school reading lists for the last twenty years aside.) It’s a surprisingly dense story with a morally grey center that doesn’t pander to the audience by trying to talk down to them, especially given the target audience. It’s a new classic for a reason, and I wouldn’t argue against its inclusion.