This is one of those young adult short novels that I really like. It seems that writing for young adults is either complete wacky and fantastic or pared down to the bare bones. This book falls into the latter category.
The story is set in an undetermined alternate universe in which life is strictly regulated: when you have children, what your career path will be, even the ages at which children experience milestones (e.g. when they have to give up their stuffed animals).
The protagonist is Jonas, who is directed to pursue his career as the replacement for The Giver, the only person in the whole civilization who knows all of the truths about that society. As Jonas learns more and more truths, he becomes more dissatisfied with his life.
I suppose that this story could be seen as an allegory, one that mirrors our own society and its tendency to enjoy wearing blinders to the reality that happens all around us. And Jonas could be the seer who literally begins to see past the blinders.
But I never really read it that way. I just enjoyed the story for its story: a boy grows up and learns that life isn't what he thought.
I haven't read the sequel to this book, and I should, but I loved how the book ended ambiguously, so I'm hesitant to seek out the sequel.