Review From User :
While Gathering Blue is the second book in The Giver Quartet, it is not a sequel to The Giver. There are similarities, though. Both stories explore themes of physical and emotional pain, individual worth, communal memory, and the role of the governing body of a community -- all, amazingly through the eyes and experiences of children.
I really love the main characters, Kira, Thomas, Matt, and Jo. (I even feel fond of Matt's resilient dog, Branch.) In the midst of the violence and anxiety of their dystopian village, the children remain incredibly calm and reliable; intelligent and thoughtful; gentle, sensitive, and loving. They seem too "perfect" to be real children but nonetheless each day I looked forward to escaping to their world and hearing of their adventures.
I was deeply moved by the vivid descriptions of surroundings and events, both beautiful and horrible, apparently a trademark of author Lois Lowry. Like The Giver, Gathering Blue has strong spiritual overtones. I was astounded by the symbolism which is woven into the story, much as Kira weaves her colourful threads into the fabric of the community's sacred robe. Kira is a girl with a challenge and a gift, and throughout the story there is a sense of divine presence and purpose in her life.
Although this book has been on my virtual "to-read" shelf ever since I read The Giver a couple of years ago, I am glad that I did not rush to read it sooner. It has come to me following a long fallow time, a trudge through a spiritual wilderness, like blue sky after a storm or cool water on a hot day. Its loving tones, its rich symbolism, and its hope for the future in Kira's world have begun to revitalize me and once again, as often happens during the time of Epiphany, when the days have begun to lengthen, I feel confident that the Inner Light will also return.
In the tradition of Alex Garland’s The Beach, a spine-tingling adventure novel about a group of friends whose journey around the world on a yacht turns from a trip to paradise into a chilling nightmare when one of them disappears at sea.
A group of friends.
And a disappearance-at-sea that turns paradise into a chilling nightmare.
Lana and her best friend Kitty leave home looking for freedom – and that’s exactly what they find when they are invited onto The Blue, a fifty-foot yacht making its way from the Philippines to New Zealand. The crew is made up of a group of young travellers bitten by wanderlust, and it doesn’t take long for Lana and Kitty’s dream of sea-bound romance to turn into reality.
Both women fall under the hypnotic spell of The Blue, spending their days exploring remote islands and their rum-filled nights relaxing on deck beneath the stars. But when one of their friends disappears overboard after an argument with another crewmember, the dark secrets that brought each of them aboard start to unravel.
At turns gorgeously scenic and entirely haunting, The Blue is a page-turning thriller about friendship, freedom and wanting to leave the past behind.