The Giver Movie Review (Tastes Like Divergent)


Jonah lives in a society of contentment.  Emotions are a thing of the past and words like love, and emotions like tears do not exist.  Memories of the past do not exist.

When Jonah reaches the age of 16 he and his classmates now graduate and receive their positions in society – not like the sorting hat in Harry Potter (darn!) ( a little like what happens in Divergent except in The Giver they do not have a say as to where they will wind up).  Jonah is given the rare position of the Receiver, a highly regarded position only held by one person at a time and he becomes the holder of all the memories.

When Jonah experiences for the first time feelings and emotion and memories of what the past was like with happiness and love and dancing he is confused.  Why would this ever be blocked? As the Receiver, we is having the memories passed to him by (you guessed it…) The Giver.

The more Jonah sees what is missing from life the more dissatisfied he becomes with the ways things are.  He learns there is a boundary that surrounds the community that keeps everyone form their memories.  If Jonah can just get beyond the boundary with the memories he can release them back to everyone.  Of course, the powers that be do not want that to happen and will do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t.


I read the book, The Giver, for banned book week in 2012.  I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the movie.  Its a scary scenario to think of a society that represses all memories and emotions for the sale of feeling well…


Sorry but if pain is the price to pay to also feel happiness…

then I will take the pain.


Definitely worth seeing.

16 thoughts on “The Giver Movie Review (Tastes Like Divergent)

  1. I haven’t read The Giver…but I was pondering this movie, since Meryl Streep is in it.

    I saw Divergent and enjoyed it, because of Shailene Woodley, but haven’t read that book either…

  2. The Giver is a really old book. Lois Lowry wrote it. I loved her other books, including one about the Holocaust. Giver is a catagory all its own. It wasn’t sifi when it was written, and YA catagiry didn’t exist. It was a kind of “Republican black and white world” post Vietnam, and Lowry was anti-war. And, from what I have seen- and I am going to see the film soon on DVD-, the producers and director made it more “Divergent-esque”, much as Tolkien was virtually re-written to appeal to a 21st century audience.

    The books aren’t similar, and if they are Divergent has roots in Giver. The “sameness” of the movies has more to do with production and audience over imagination. When I read the Giver, I was absolutely blown away fifteen years ago. It popped up in sermons, in conversations and in banned book lists. I just loved it.

    Feel better Sheila

    1. I think The Giver was published in 1993. I was surprised, I thought it was older than that. Thanks for clarifying that the books does not have a similarity to Divergent Andrea, I did not remember that it did but thought maybe I missed it. 🙂 I originally read it because it was banned.

  3. This is an excellent summary of the book, Sheila! It’s been a few years since I read the book, but you brought it right back to me, for sure. The only thing that disappointed me about it was that Christmas was brought into it, simply because it took away from the neutrality of the overall story, I think. Others may not agree, but I would’ve liked it more if it was generic on that level.

    And I’ve so often been disappointed by adaptations, I tend to ignore them now, but now I’m more excited to watch it when it comes to TV 😀

  4. I just read the book last year and I enjoyed it. Have not seen the movie yet, but I want to. But I heard they changed a few things like Jonah’s age for instance.

    1. Yes I think he is 15 (16?) in the movie and in the book he is 12-13. I think the love interest in the movie makes more sense with the 15-16…. if he would have been 12-13 I might have been creeped out. 😆

  5. I am in the minority that did not enjoy the movie and it has ruined me for the book which I think I will pass up on. The movie had so much potential but it really fell flat for me.

  6. I read the book when I was working in the classroom and the 5th grade class was assigned this to read together. Many of the kids loved it and could relate to her style of writing. Now I’m anxious to see this movie, so thanks.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s