Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Messenger

I hate that it's been a week since I last posted! I've been swamped at work, have had various other things to do and have been reading, but I'm behind in blogging and reading and commenting on others' blogs! I'll hopefully rectify that later this week. For now, here's my third post for Adam's Magical March!

If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you read The Giver in school at some point. This book sparked more debate in my eighth grade English class than any other book discussion I've been part of - and I have my MA in English lit! My class nearly came to blows over the end of the book - what happens to Jonah? Well, if you want to find out, read The Messenger.

Lois Lowry followed up The Giver with Gathering Blue and The Messenger, neither of which were out when I read The Giver in high school. I read Gathering Blue a few years ago and was somewhat disappointed - there seemed to be no real connection to The Giver. That changes with The Messenger. The worlds of both The Giver and Gathering Blue unite in The Messenger. I wish I had realized that before reading The Messenger - I would have gone back and reread the other two books to have them fresher in my mind. I assumed it was just loosely connected, more of a book with the same themes than a true sequel. I was wrong: we find out what happened to Jonah!!!

Before I get to that though, I just wanted to say a few things about the book itself. It's not nearly as strong as The Giver, although The Giver is so wonderful that's perhaps not a far comparison. It's still good, but it feels rushed. The pacing is good until the end, and then it just felt like a million things happened in two pages and that's it.

I'm also not quite sure how I feel about knowing what happened to Jonah. It was almost sweeter not knowing. Plus, I imagine English teachers feeling frustrated about this ruining the discussion about the ending of The Giver, because now the answer is out there! I won't spoil it here for you, but I will say my eighth-grade self was right. :) Take that everyone who disagreed with me!

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