Jonas and his family are living in a utopian society were everyone is the same and they can feel no true emotions. Jonas and his perfect family of four are living a happy, plain, painless, boring life.
Jonas gets skipped over in the ceremony of twelve! But then after everyone else gets there jobs, he is selected to be the new Receiver of Memory. This roll being very important for the last Receiver failed and was released. Jonas doesn't know it yet but this will forever change his life.
During the rising action so many new things happen to keep the book rolling. Jonas starts lessons with an elder known as the Giver (but only to Jonas) were he receives memories unknown to him. He finally begins to comprehend and see color, gets his first painful memory of sunburn, and receives some joyful memory's including his first memory of a sled ride. He then meets a new-child Gabriel whom is staying in there dwelling for he hasn't fully developed yet.
Jonas learns what release really is when he watches his father do it. It is really just a lethal shot that kills the person being released. Jonas is horrified.
Jonas after realizing what release really is, finds out that Gabriel will be released the very next day. Him and the Giver had been making a plan for Jonas to escape. However Jonas is going to have to leave early and take Gabriel with him so that he will not be released! Jonas and Gabriel travel by night (on Jonas' fathers bike) and sleep by day. With search plains tailing them the hole time. Jonas near the end of there journey no longer cares about himself, but only that Gabriel survives.
Jonas and Gabriel ride on for countless days up until the point that it starts to snow. Jonas and Gabriel die of hypothermia ending there lives with a peaceful memory of the two of them sledding down a hill. Just like Jonas' first memory.