Don't let the fact that it can easily be read in one day fool you. The Giver is a profound, thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining book, easy enough for young people but also appealing to adults.
Jonas' community represents a very common fear in society-the loss of individuality. Though the lives of the inhabitants are regulated and controlled to the point of absurdity, they have no desire for freedom-and that, I think, is the most sickening thing about the society.
And yet, the community is almost appealing, because it is so different. It does offer certain "advantages"-no war, pain, decisions, or problems. As the story progresses, however, we see that these are heavily outweighed by the disadvantages-no love, emotion, beauty, or ambition.
The important role of the older generation is dealt with beautifully in the story. The 'memories' transmitted from the Giver to Jonas are a picture, I think, of the memories passed on from generation to generation-but that is of course open for debate.
The story offers many opportunities for debate. What does Jonas' community represent? Where is 'Elsewhere'? Are the inhabitants of the community really human? Does it take place in our world, or another? And of course, the question of what, exactly, happens to Jonas at the end of the book.
I recommend this book for anyone old enough to realize problems in society; and to understand the concepts of Communism and "Utopian" idealism (both pictured frequently in the story).