In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
First line: “‘Mother?'”
Title: Gathering Blue (#2)
Author: Lois Lowry
My edition: Paperback from HMH Books for Young Readers published in 2013, with 256 pages. First published in 2000.
Series: The Giver Quartet (Total of 4 books)
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult, Classics, Childrens, Middle Grade, Apocalyptic and Fantasy
WHY THIS BOOK
I liked The Giver, the first book of the series, I liked how Lois Lowry created this amazing world, and then I was intrigued to read this book because it’s just totally different.
Everything changes in this book from the first book in the series, and I was starting to worry that I had the wrong book or that I’d somehow missed out on like a whole character. In fact, I hadn’t, and it turned out to be kind of strange and, yeah, this was a weird book compared to the first one in the series in a strange way. So let me explain: In The Giver we meet Jonas who lives in this fantastic futuristic world – and in Gathering Blue we meet Kira, who doesn’t live in a fantastic world, but probably a futuristic one. I was confused, and I was sad because I honestly thought that I was going to read about what happened when Jonas reached the city lines and everything. But, I loved the plot; it was so exciting to read something kind of dark in a weird way. A society in the future that has fallen thousands of years “behind” where we are now. I loved it.
The world has its interesting themes. For example there are ways of dividing the poor, the middle class and the rich. Men and women are kept mostly apart, and the men hunt while the woman do ordinary womanly stuff. In other words; the women are hardworking stay-at-home-moms and the fathers get to test their testosterone in the woods. I got the feeling that Kira, the main character was part of the middle class – but when her mother died she kind of fell to a hole between the poor and the middle class. It was kind of a cliff-hanger; would she get through it? Where would she go? What would happen to her? This is what the world made me feel: I felt kind of disgusted because it seemed like we were right back to the times when hygiene was lacking and bones were used for tools. Like I was actually kind of grossed out when Kira ate out of a spoon made of bones. Anyways, it shows that there are still some of those “old” habits of hierarchy in the world; the leaders, laws and regulations, stuff like that, but it wasn’t as well-functioned as most of those things are today (Or at least we don’t have leaders that put the weak out in the woods to die, yeah we do, so…).
I still don’t like Lowry’s writing style, it’s too indescribable, I want to know more. I mean, in this book I had to use my imagination to what the characters and the places looked like, but I still wanted more precise descriptions from Lowry herself. It’s still easy to read though, and I find myself reading A LOT when I first start. As you can see I only used like a day on this book.
This book had more peaks and lows than The Giver had, and I loved the way I kept wondering about what was going to happen next. I felt like this was the kind of book where, if it was longer, you would have been on your toes waiting for the balls to drop one by one. I loved it in this book.
I found myself liking Kira, I wanted everything to go okay with her, and I actually hoped throughout the book that someone would just magically fix her leg. But she was strong, and (as Lowry called it) she was 2 syllables old, so about 12-15 is probably correct. And she’s incredibly strong, and I feel like that has a lot to do with the fact that her mother raised her that way.
Matt was this beautiful character that I really couldn’t let go of. He was this poor, street-smart guy whom in my eyes didn’t get the things he deserved. I felt sorry for him.
I also liked Thomas, but he wasn’t an interesting character, just the normal in the story, but not really important to the story in a kind of way. The same with Jo – I didn’t feel like she was important like Kira, but she was a smart character to have in the book to make it more interesting.
ALL IN ALL
I felt like it was actually starting to look like a mystery novel after a while. It got to the point where I was thinking; this is actually reminding me about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Let me explain: Kira after a while ends up in a place where she feels safe, but has this constant feeling that something is strange, abnormal. Then, she starts to investigate and put the pieces together, and it becomes almost like Jane Eyre’s realizations. I liked it, and it made the book more interesting!
Favorite quote: “Take pride in your pain; you are stronger than those who have none”