Friday, May 30, 2014

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Take pride on your pain […] you are stronger than those who have none.

Why I read this book

Earlier this month I read The Giver and learned that there is actually a quartet of books and not just the stand alone. Even though I did not love the first book, I did find it quite interesting and wanted to know what would happen with Jonas and Gabe.

What the book is about

The main character, a young girl named Kira is a newly orphan with a particular talent: weaving. On a community that values ability this is the only thing that she has to offer but it is enough for the Council to want to keep her around. However, as she advances in her work and learning she will also discover the darkest part of her community.

First impressions

This book starts on a completely different note than The Giver. While in the first book the community is portrayed as somehow idyllic in this case it feels likes most of the people, except for the Council, are working hard to barely survive. More than education in an academic sense, people go by through trade learning (weaving, butchering, carving) and exchange. The more it differed from the "perfect" community of the giver, the more I wanted to know what made this a companion novel.

Final thoughts

Such different books and yet...they both explore how society might change after a huge calamity; I am still not sure what exactly happened, I am hoping to figure that out soon.

While this installment was a bit easier to swallow (I will not give spoilers, but if you read the first one I am sure you know what I mean) it still had several situations that made me stop reading, take a minute to gather my thoughts and then be able to continue. I believe that one of the reasons this two books have been very different to me in the YA dystopia genre is that the protagonists are so young and FEEL so young. A lot (if not most) of the dystopias I have read involve a teenager as a protagonist and for me this has a big effect in the way I see them confronting the different situations they encounter.

I am intrigued with this quartet; I don't want to call it a series, because I think the books could be read as standalone story, albeit with a somehow inconclusive ending. However I don't see yet clearly how the stories merge, IF they merge. At the end of this book there were a couple of sentences that made me think of the previous one, but it felt a lot like a whisper, a reminder that they are somehow meant to be connected.

Because I am so intrigued I will be reading Messenger for sure. 

It (artist) means, well, someone who is able to make something beautiful


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