So, with my current book reading challenge suggesting (nay, forcing me) to read a book set in the future, I went to my husband for a suggestion. He suggested The Giver by Lois Lowry as an "easy and quick read."
The challenge I felt reading the first half of the book was oppressive. I found it difficult to get through two to three pages at a time without falling asleep or finding other things that needed doing around the house. In fact, it took me over a week to read a small nine chapters.
It took me an hour and a half to finish the rest of the book and I devoured it in one sitting, feeling somewhat satisfied with myself for chalking up my 2nd fantasy/sci-fi read.
So what gives?
I think that, as with almost all other books in this genre, a large portion of the book involves building the setting. And, let's be real: that can be pretty boring. Finding out all the specifics of an author's made up world can take a while. Not that it is an unnecessary step, just a tedious one. Once the author has established this made-up world to his/her liking, he/she can move forward with plot. And apparently plot is my jam.
The Giver, though in my opinion, is long on setting and short on plot; it is not unsatisfying. It is a good read. A recommended read and it deals with some pretty major themes. But I kind of feel that it could have been a short story. Wouldn't it have been a little more jarring if it had just plopped the reader down into the plot and left her to discover the uniqueness of the world surrounding t he plot? Just a thought.
I can see why The Giver became an instant classic. But I do understand why it would have been a challenge for me in eighth grade. Heck, it was a challenge for me at 34!
Rating: 3.5 out of 7
This book fulfills the "Book set in the future" for my current challenge.