Mini Book Reviews → The Giver by Lois Lowry + Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth + Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Friday, February 6, 2015

In an effort to share my thoughts on all the books I read, I'm starting a series! I know full-length reviews are typically ignored (and to be honest, I sometimes don't have a lot to say about certain books) so this is a happy medium :)

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Book 1 in the Giver Quartet

Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Release Date: January 24, 2006 (first published in 1993)
Publisher: Ember (Random House)
Rating: 4 stars

I made plans to read this book back in March 2014 before the movie came out, but I pushed it aside due to my disinterest. For some strange reason, I recently really wanted to watch the movie (but refused to before I had a chance to read the book) so I decided to sit myself down and just get through it. I was very fascinated with the society from the beginning and I kept wanting to read on, but the ending was a bit anticlimactic. I wish it could've been a bit longer but other than that, I liked it. If you've read Gathering Blue, how is it? I'm still unsure if I want to continue with the series.


Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (HarperCollins)
Rating: 4 stars

After being away from the Divergent world for a while, I was excited to experience some new (and familiar) events from Four's perspective. I loved being able to see how he reasons and how he interacts with those in Dauntless before he befriends them. Although The Traitor (the last novella in this bind-up) overlaps with pieces of Divergent, I didn't mind. If you love Four as much as I do, you will appreciate this book :)

"You're the one who has to live with your choice," she says. "Everyone else will get over it, move on, no matter what you decide. But you never will." (p. 5)


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2012 (first published in 2011)
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Books USA)
Rating: 3.5 stars

I finished this a couple of days ago and I'm still torn on how I should rate this. The entire story moved at a slow pace, but it needed to be that way to show growth and perseverance in all the characters. It felt a bit like reading diary entries (which I typically don't enjoy reading) and the way it was written made for a quick read. I've personally never known about the genocide of Baltic people (it often gets overshadowed by the Holocaust, as Sepetys states in her Author's Note) so I am very thankful that I came across this book. Although it was a painful reality, I think everyone would benefit from reading Between Shades of Gray. I wish I read it in middle or high school.

If you've read any of these three books, how did you feel about them?


  1. I read The Giver a long time ago but barely remember anything about it. I think I should give it a re-read, especially since it is such a well-regarded book. I wonder if you will like the film - I've read mostly negative thoughts on it.

    I did want to read Four once upon a time, but after finishing the trilogy, I never did get around to it. I don't know if I will though, since I was so disappointed by the last book. But maybe someday!

  2. The movie turned out alright — they changed a couple of things to make it flow better, but I don't think I like the way they changed it :/ If you're not in love with Four (the person), I think you'll be okay with skipping it!