I read this book because I just had to know the ending. I felt like Gathering Blue and Messenger were interim books for this fourth one. I couldn't just stop at three and be 75% of the way done with a series. I've made it this far - might as well keep going. I'm not exactly sure where to start, so we'll go with the pros and the cons.
1. This book ties in all four books. What seemed to be random happenstance was not for naught. They all tie in during this last one and it's about time. 2. Claire, the lead, is a strong and independent woman. I'm definitely all for Girl Power and powerful female roles, especially when they don't necessarily lose their feminine qualities (much like Hermione Granger). 3. Trade Master and Trade Market are explained! One of my complains for Messenger was that I had no idea what was going on with that sub-plot. I even found it distracting from what was going on with the rest of the story. But now that I know it comes into play again in this installment, I'm glad for the early introduction. 4. We are introduced to new characters while there are still old characters that take part in this book. There are mentions of other old characters that do not make an appearance as well. 5. Time passes. We're not stuck in one time period - there is growth from The Giver to this one. 6. Claire and Jonas are from the same village!
1. I'm a little confused as to where the sperm comes from for the birth mothers. It was never explained. 2. I don't understand why Claire did not get re-evaluated and re-assigned to a job that would fit her rather than finding a convenient opening. 3. The whole color/non-color thing is still a little confusing for me. The village Claire and Jonas are originally from is black and white as previously explained in The Giver. For Claire, when she left the village, did everything just become in color. Was it like Dorothy landing in Oz? Everything was all of a sudden in Technicolor?
I did enjoy this book. I thought it was well planned out and definitely weaved nicely with the other books. Makes me wonder if Lowry knew all along what was going to happen or if she just looked back on her previous works and decided to answer certain questions. (There's a huge time gap between the four.) While I enjoyed it, I still feel it's kind of "meh". This could just be because it's a Young Adult novel that definitely has Junior Reader appeal. I think I'm not the intended target for this book. While I definitely commend Lowry on her writing and her ability, it just didn't pack a huge "wow" factor for me. I felt it was predictable. I knew what was going to happen waaay before there was a glimmer of what was going to happen.
My Rating and why: I give it three stars. While I had negative comments above, there are definite saving graces. The messages transcends generations and the story, as a whole, is a great concept. Three stars might be because The Giver was amazing and I want this series to be just as amazing. (Meh.) I'm kind of on the fence for this one. BUUUUUT the bottom line is - I like it.