Monday, February 13, 2012

“Take pride in your pain; you are stronger than those who have none.”

Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
Book 2 in The Giver trilogy
240 pages
Genre:  Children’s/YA; Dystopia
Summary:  Now orphaned after the recent death of her mother, Kira, a young girl with a leg deformity, faces an uncertain future in a society that only values the strong and unflawed.  She does, however, have a rare gift that might be her saving grace, despite the fact that everyone sees her as a weak link.  Will Kira be able to thrive in a bleak society that is constantly trying to keep her down?
Review:  As a middle grader, The Giver was one of my favorite books.  Up until a few months ago, I had no idea that sequels to this book had been written, so once I discovered that, Gathering Blue quickly found its way on my reading list.  My hopes were high going into this book, and I feverishly hoped that the same magic that Lowry was able to create in The Giver would reemerge here.  Much to my dismay, I did not enjoy Gathering Blue very much at all, and I read it more out of a sense of duty rather than enjoyment of the text.
One of the things I really disliked about this book was the main character, Kira.  Throughout Gathering Blue, Kira was rather passive, and she didn’t really seem like she was in control of her destiny at all.  Whenever something happened to her, it never even seemed like she reacted properly.  It was also very hard for me to feel sympathetic towards her, as the reader wasn’t really given a chance to get to know her because she kept her distance, and was rather one-dimensional.
While the village itself was rather creepy and interesting, I found the plot twists to be quite predictable and wasn’t surprised by any of the events found therein.  I really wish something would have happened that seemed to come completely out of left field, but alas, no such luck.
I was also disappointed that there wasn’t any connection to The Giver.  The worlds created in these books are completely separate and never intersect.  Perhaps something will change in the third book, but in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’ll read it.
Even though I was disappointed in Gathering Blue, people in the 9-12 age range who like something a bit out of the norm might really enjoy this book. 
Rating:  2/5
Other Books in this Series:  The Giver (Book 1), Messenger (Book 3)