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Messenger (Readers Circle)

Messenger - Lois Lowry Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsInterest in Book: The Giver and Gathering Blue were phenomenal books that left me with lots of thoughts and feelings. I am quite impressed with this middle grade dystopian collection.World-Building: This book is set in a village beyond Kira's village in Gathering Blue. It is full of people deemed unacceptable, disbaled or a burden to their people, Kira's included. The villagers are open and accepting to anyone who has been outcast from their homes. The villagers are compassionate, accepting, willing, helpful. But this Utopian mindset slowly starts to unravel as the book progresses. It appears that the villagers are becoming spiteful, angry, disrespectful. It's as though the humanity and gentle nature of these people is slowly being sucked out of their souls. And maybe it is. You see, a Trademart has sprouted up in town, and it appears that the trading of goods is not exactly the purpose of this market. It is implied as to what the villagers seek when entering this eerie tent, but the mart has exactly one scene in the entire book. I would have liked more of this aspect of society, as it appears to be the catalyst for the downfall of the village. As the villagers lose sight of their purpose, they decide that they want to close off this once welcoming society to others.Characters: Matty! He is no longer the young, mischievous, fun lad that provided warmth and friendship to Kira. He is now a teenager and lives with the Seer, a blind man who sees more without sight than others with working eyes. Matty has learned to talk properly, has attended school and has great manners and respect for others. His growth occurred "between" the stories and for that, I was sad. I would have loved to witness it. Matty becomes quite the savior in this book. As the Messenger for the village, he is sent to various other societies to pass along messages. When the village decides to close their doors to newcomers, Matty must race to bring Kira to the village, as she is an important piece of his world. As with the characters in former books, Matty surprises himself with innate powers that are overwhelming and surprising. He uses that strength and perseverance and compassion that he's always possessed for the good of humanity, and he does it with blinding bravery.Lasting Impressions: I really enjoyed how Messenger connects both of the previous books, The Giver and Gathering Blue, which are very different in setting and characters. The ending was anticlimactic, though it left me feeling many emotions. I was very intrigued with this village and its inhabitants, and so proud of Matty in the end.Favorite Quote:He wept, and it felt as if the tears were cleansing him, as if his body needed to empty itself.