As often happens, I am in the minority when it comes to this book. I truly do not understand the high ratings of this book as I found it to be extremely tedious, dull and overall aggravating.
First of all, I definitely caught on to the religious/Christian leanings of the book. The ending in and of itself had heavy imagery of the Christian variety--lights/Christmas tree(s), the child arriving and cue the eye roll. Also, the "releases" which occur, especially the one involving the newborn, definitely reminded me of anti-abortion propaganda. I don't know if the author purposely wanted this to be evoked, but I would not be surprised.
Since this book is marketed to children I found the aforementioned release scene a bit disturbing for a young child, but I found another scene more disturbing. When Jonas first meets the "giver" he is put into a room with him, where no surveillance is allowed. Okay...a little bit of unease with this but let us continue eh? Then the "giver" tells Jonas to take off his tunic (warning bells people!!) and lie down on the bed face down (WTF?). He then proceeds to touch this young boy of twelve to give him "memories". And of course, Jonas is told he cannot tell others of his talks etc. with the "giver". Hmmm, this definitely seems like a great message to give kids.....yup, nothing pervy about it at all.
And for more tame annoyances: there is no background to how this community came to be. If you are going to create a worthy dystopian world you need background. Also, the characters were flat and not interesting at all. This is of course part of the society and the lack of normal feelings etc. but it makes it extremely hard to care or to find the book entertaining.
Obviously I don't recommend the book, especially not for young children who could easily receive poor messages (refer to pervy scene).