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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review: Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet, #2) by Lois Lowry

BOOK review
Started on: 19.July.2014
Finished on: 20.July.2014

Title : Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet, #2)
Author : Lois Lowry
Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages : 225 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2012
Price : $ 9.75 (

Rating: 3.5/5
*for those who haven't read the first book, this review may contain spoiler.
Review for The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1) here. 
"Fear was always a part of life for the people. Because of fear, they made shelter and found food and grew things. For the same reason, weapons were stored, waiting. There was fear of cold, of sickness and hunger. There was fear of beasts.
And fear propelled her now as she stood, leaning on her stick."
In a different community, a girl named Kira had just lost her mother due to sickness. Kira is a girl with a crippled leg, and she should've been thrown to the Field and left to die when she was a child because she would be no use to the community. And because of her mother's authority, she was able to survive. But now Kira is an orphan with no one to stand up for her, a woman named Vandara wanted to get rid of her and took her living space. The issue was then brought to the Council of Guardians; and thankfully, Kira was saved by a guardian named Jamison and got a place to live in the grand Council Edifice because of her rare skill at embroidery.

"Take pride in your pain," her mother had always told her. "You are stronger than those who have none."
Her new living place is unlike what she's seen; there's a bathroom with water flowing inside, and drawers to store her things. She was then given the task to restore the historical sewing of the Robe, the treasured piece of clothing which will be worn by the Singer at the Ruin Song Gathering - a ceremonial event in which the Singer tells the history of the world. While she stayed at the Edifice, she befriends a boy named Thomas, who works as a carver - who restores the carvings on the Singer's staff. Thomas was also an orphan when he was taken in the Council Edifice for his carving skills. Later on, another orphaned child called Jo is held captive in a room. The little girl had an exceptional ability at singing, and she is trained to become the next Singer.
"Kira wished again for blue. The color of calm. What was it Annabella had said? That they had blue yonder? What did that mean? Who were they? And where was yonder?"
Over time, Kira discovered things she never knew about the community before. She also realized that she has a special power with her hands and threads. With the help of her friend, Matt, she tried to find the color blue - the color that she doesn't know yet how to make. The journey of gathering blue led her to someone - who she never expected to see in her whole life.
"The three of them - the new little Singer who would one day take the chained Singer's place; Thomas the Carver, who with his meticulous tools wrote the history of the world; and she herself, the one who colored that history - they were the artists who could create the future."
image source: here. edited by me.
To be honest, I was quite disappointed with this book; because first, I thought I would get to know what happened next to Jonas, and secondly because this book sets in a different kind of community. The community in The Giver mostly uses technology, but in this community it's almost like they live primitively. The main character is also different than the first book, and there's still no relation whatsoever with Jonas. However, it doesn't mean I hate this book - I still quite enjoyed it, especially the second-half of the book. And I'm pretty sure this book has a certain purpose for the series as a whole.

The book is written in third person POV, just like the previous one, and focuses on the main character, Kira. It starts off by introducing the main character, her condition and her fears as her mother died - which means she's most probably going to die as well because she's useless to the community. As the story progresses, most of the story talks about Kira's work in embroidering the Robe - along with how she learned about making dyes using plants. I love her friendship with Matt and Thomas in this book; I can see that Kira is a very kind and friendly person, especially when she soothed Jo who's sad because she lost her parents. I think the story started to get more interesting when there seems to be something 'wrong' with the community; when they speculate why Kira, Thomas, and Jo are all orphans when they're taken to the Edifice for their skills. There are certain details in the story that made me enjoy this book a little bit better, but I won't mention it one-by-one to avoid spoilers. My favorite part of the book is of course the ending that wraps up the story; when Matt brought two gifts for Kira: one small and one big gift. Both are so adorably heartwarming, and it's a pretty unexpected twist as well.

I've mentioned earlier that the community in this book is extremely different compared to the community in The Giver. One of the most interesting thing about the community is how their names got longer as they aged. For younger ones like Matt and Jo, their names are in one syllable. For young adult like Kira and Thomas, their names consists of two syllable. The older a person is, the longer their name syllables will be. And when in Jonas's community they know nothing about history, in this community they devoted a day to listen to the Singer recite the world's history - which is very lengthy. The last difference is I think the social degree of the community. In Jonas's community, every person have equally prosperous, peaceful, and safe lives. However, in Kira's community, there are people who live in prosperity, and some who live in the Fen (a very dirty village, in which Matt lived). Despite the huge differences between these two communities, each have its' own flaws - and I think it's part of what makes this series intriguing for me.

Even though I didn't love this book as much as the first one, I'm still really excited to read the next two books in this series - and am looking forward to what's going to happen next to all of the characters. I actually don't have any expectations towards the next books, because I don't know what I'm hoping for. But I do hope everything will be well in the end :))

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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