The Giver takes place in a community with no color and no emotions.
Jonas is given his assignment as the new Receiver of Memories.
For his first memory, he was given the memories of snow and sledding.
Jonas learns that Release is when the person is being releases, they are injected with a serum, and killed. He learned this by watching a baby die at the hands of his father.
It's okay, little guy. I just need an artery, and all of the arm arteries are too small, so I have to put it in your head. Here we go. There, that wasn't so bad.
Jonas decides that if he leaves, the community will have to deal with the memories that he has acquired, and will regain the sight of color and emotions.
Jonas takes Gabriel and travel to Elsewhere. Jonas gives Gabe memories of soothing things like a sail on the open sea. The book ends with Jonas falling down a hill and seeing a house with people inside.