Summary (from Goodreads):
Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
This is one of those novels that you read in school, and don’t quite see the depth and breadth of meaning until you read it again as an adult, at least for me.
Jonas lives in a utopian society where all decisions are made for him – there are no conflicts, and everything from thoughts and emotions to your role in the society is controlled. That is until Jonas turns twelve and is assigned the role of Receiver.
The Giver trains Jonas to receive the memories he has been holding for the community, which is when Jonas learns the truth about the true pain and pleasure of life. With this begins an awakening and adventure that changes, not only Jonas, but also the community as a whole.
It’s a novel about learning harsh truths and taking risks in order to do the right thing, no matter how difficult – moving, heartbreaking, but full of hope. Recommended.