Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: Son (The Giver Quartet, #4) by Lois Lowry

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BOOK review
Started on: 22.July.2014
Finished on: 25.July.2014

Son (The Giver Quartet, #4) by Lois Lowry

Title : Son (The Giver Quartet, #4)
Author : Lois Lowry
Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages : 405 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2000
Price : $ 12.92 (www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 5/5
*for those who haven't read the first, second, and third book, this review may contain spoiler.
Review for The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1) here.
Review for Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet, #2) here.
Review for Messenger (The Giver Quartet, #3) here.
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"Yes, she had always been content. Everyone was, in the community. Their needs were tended to; there was nothing they lacked, nothing they.... That was it, Claire realized. She had never yearned for anything before. But now, ever since the day of the birth, she felt a yearning constantly, desperately, to fill the emptiness inside her.
She wanted her child."
Claire was assigned as a Birthmother when she was 12, and every Birthmother are supposed to produce three times before they're assigned as Laborers. But when Claire is about to produce her first product, something went wrong with the procedure and she was reassigned to the Fish Hatchery soon after. Claire sneaked into the Nurturing Center to find out about her son, number Thirty-Six, and she volunteered there just so she could see the baby. Claire felt deep affection towards the baby, a feeling she felt alone in the community because she never consumed the pills to suppress emotions. Later on, she found out her baby failed to thrive and was going to be released. The next day, a boy escaped the community to Elsewhere - bringing her son with him. And Claire sets off in search of her beloved son, not knowing the long and difficult journey that awaits her.

"And so she was the one who felt things. The only one! It was why she yearned for the child, and felt her heart melt each time his little hand waved and he said "Bye-bye" to her, calling out her name in his silvery voice, smiling that amazing smile.... She would die, Claire realized, before she would give up the love she felt for her son."
Claire's attempt to find her son led her to a foreign community that rescued her. She discovered that the community lived differently from what she knew; she learned about colors, seasons, animals - things she never see or heard of before in her previous community. But Claire is still determined to go and find her lost son. In order to do that, she needed to climb a cliff up. She received help from Einar - a man who lost his leg after he climbed the cliff. However, the time it took her to strengthen her muscles and practice the difficult obstacles wasn't a short time. It took six years, before Einar deemed her ready for the climb.
"She decided she would tell her story, her own history that she had kept so secret until now, to Jonas. Someday, after she was gone, if the time was ever right, when the boy was old enough and ready, he could pass it on to her son."
Although the journey to find her son is not easy for Claire, she never wavered even when the biggest interference is in front of her. In the end, to be able to find her son, Claire must make an unimaginable sacrifice. She doesn't need rethink her decision; but after what happens, now Claire is wondering if it was necessary for her son to find out about her existence.
"Years ago, Gabe, when I took you and ran away, there was a man I loved and left behind. I wanted him to come with me but he said no.
He was right to refuse. It was my journey and I had to do it without help. I had to find my own strengths, face my own fears. And now you must."
image source: here. edited by me.
I am really satisfied with this book and am very happy about with the conclusion of this beautiful series. At first I was quite worried because the beginning of this book started yet again with a different main character - but thankfully it's someone related to our previous main character. This book is a lot longer than the previous three books, so a lot of things happened and it felt as though I went through all those years with Claire as well. I was constantly excited to see what's going to happen next; astonished by the twists and surprises as the story unfolds - and it's a thoroughly amazing reading experience.

First of all, I'm sorry if the plot summary I wrote above spoiled things a bit - but I guess that's the best I could do. Son is written in third-person POV, and most of the book focuses on the main character, Claire - but later in the story it alternates with Gabe. The book is divided into three parts: Book I: Before, Book II: Between, and Book III: Beyond. The first part mainly tells the story of Claire's life in The Giver's community - which is set in time before Jonas became a Receiver. This part builds Claire's affection towards her son; and there are so many new (and crazy) things I found out about this community. The second part is set in the second community, where Claire learned about real life - by seeing colors, animals, and experiencing different weather and seasons. The most exciting thing in this part is when Claire is training for her climb with Einar. In this part, I'm constantly curious about how Einar lost his leg (because the fact was kept hidden and mysterious). I'm also quite sad about their romance - which is pretty heartbreaking because I kind of ship them together :'( Anddd, the ending of Book II seriously made my jaw drop! I was so shocked, surprised, taken aback - because I didn't expect that to happen. But indeed it was a great twist that connects the story with the previous book; and it made me want to praise Lois Lowry for her writing. As for Book III, it focuses mostly on Gabe's character and perspective - how he's eager to find out about his life origins (including his parents). This part is set about seven years after Messenger, because now Gabe is already a teenager - and it's nice to know that Gabe had a deep friendship with Matty :')) This book also revealed the fact that Gabe also had a special power, a gift - which is veering. Gabe is able to enter another person, experience that person and feel what that person felt. And that gift played a really important part in the ending - which I'm not going to spoil of course. Reaching the final pages, I'm both excited, worried, and curious as to how everything's going to turn out. I was preparing myself for the worst, but thankfully it all goes well in the end. It's a very satisfying ending; and I applaud Lois Lowry who's able to intertwine everything into one whole connected story.

Reading this book was quite a roller-coaster ride for me; with the beginning that felt a bit mellow, emotional, full of love and affection, then something more exciting with new discoveries, and ended with a bit of thrill and intensity as it reached the heartwarming conclusion. Not only this book is amazing, I now list The Giver Quartet as one of my favorite series of all time (along with other many series). I'm glad I finally picked this series up because of the upcoming movie adaptation - I wished I've read it sooner. Right now I'm feeling kind of sad to say goodbye to this series and all the various communities in it. But at least I'm glad to know all the characters are finally able to lead a normal and happy life in a peaceful place. And Matty, you will have a special place in my heart ♥♥

Thanks again Lois Lowry for this great series :)

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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