The Giver by Lois Lowry is about a boy named Jonas. Living in a futuristic world of sameness where there is no color, sound, smell, feeling, or music, Jonas' community is one of many in a world where there is perfect organization and no surprises. Family units in this world consist of two perfectly matched spouses and a boy and a girl who are born by birthmothers. They are then presented to the parents in a ceremony. When members of the community have finished their working life they are taken to a house of the old where they are cared for until their release, or their death induced by drugs. Everything in everone's life is uniform and the same under a fixed set of rules.
Jonas is about to participate in the Ceremony of the Twelves. At this ceremony all of the new twelve-year-olds are assigned to jobs that they will occupy in the community for the rest of their lives. Jonas ends up not being assigned to a job. Instead he is selected to be the new receiver. The receiver holds the highest honor in the community and holds the memories and feelings of the past before the sameness. The old receiver, now known as the giver, has to give the memories of the past to Jonas, something the giver failed at when trying to train a young girl. If anyone else gets these memories, the community would be turned into chaos, ruining the sameness. Unfortunately the last new receiver who was released upon her request the memories inside her to be transferred to the community. That is why Jonas cannot request a release. Jonas also cannot fail.