The Giver by Lois Lowry
Jonas is a member of the Community - a safe, enclosed society that dedicates itself to Sameness and a bland, beige kind of world.
When Jonas and the other Twelves of his Community are called to their assigned life-long tasks, which they will be trained and work in, Jonas is left until the end, when he finds out he is to be the new Receiver of Memories - the receptacle of all human memory. A burden that is only taken on by one person in a generation, so as to preserve the Community’s bland and safe lifestyle.
However, Jonas soon finds out that even in such a safe place, dark secrets are lurking. And he has a choice to make - one that could have far-reaching implications.
I loved The Giver. I keep coming back to bits and pieces of it, like Jonas and the present Receiver, and their relationship, and how Jonas first discovers memories of such simple things as snow.
The relationship between Jonas and the Receiver itself is surprisingly warm and has a lot of depth, which gives Jonas the catalyst to take the action that he does towards the end of the book.
It’s a short book, but it packs the whump of an emotional Whomping Willow Tree.
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
Mia is hovering on the brink of life and death, after a terrible car accident. Her parents and younger brother die in the crash but Mia is clinging on and the story is narrated from her point of view as she contemplates whether to stay, or whether to move on.
She dives into her memories - not just of the day itself, but of her family, and the very deep and great sense of loss that she has is definitely felt.
If I Stay is another short book, but it has such emotional depth that you kind of forget it’s not 500 pages long.
Moving Pictures by Mr Sir Terry Pratchett
This is, I think, the 10th Discworld novel? I’m slowly picking my way through them in publishing order.
For some reason it took me absolutely ages to read this one.
Something is coming through a small, tiny tear in the fabric of reality. That something will draw peole to Holy Wood - people like Ginger, who wants to be more than a milkmaid, and Victor - can’t sing, can’t dance, can handle a sword a little - and Cut My Own Throat Dibbler, who may not know a lot of things, but he sure knows how to sell dubious sausages.
Moving Pictures is pretty classic Pratchett humour - funny and satiric with a healthy dose of magic and absurdity. Good times.