This wasn't really a coming of age story so much as a coming of knowledge story1.
The society depicted in The Giver was so close to ideal, I found myself in agreement with their methods in regards to all but the infamous Release. I had an idea of what it might be2, but the truth was far more horrible than I had suspected.
It was like this: Imagine the most perfect utopian society you can. No hunger, no pain, no war. Perfect, right?
Now drain away all color and remove all profound emotion. Take away everything that makes us different. Everything that makes life worthwhile. Voila! You have The Giver.
I loved Jonas, it was a treat to watch him grow into awareness and to see what life was really like, or at least what it could be like.
The ending was cathartic, but oddly delusional. You could take it as what it was, or look beyond it to see that it might not have been that happy of an ending after all.
I give The Giver3...
A seriously good read.
1 It occurs to me, though, that those might be the same thing...
2 Perhaps it was more of an inkling. Or maybe even a premonition.
3 Haha, give the giver.