Lois Lowry's The Giver predates the current dystopian trend, and brings to mind the world of Camazotz in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Trilogy. Jonah is about to turn 12, which in his society of matched couples who apply for -- and receive -- two children each, a boy and a girl, means he will be assigned his career. He and his family are shocked when he is chosen as the new Receiver: the person who retains all the memories of society. He had no idea so many things had been forgotten in the interest of sameness and harmonic living.The story has been told both before and since, but asks the reader the question: what things would be worth giving up for a society in which there is no war, no conflict, and no pain? And in the end, is having this perfect society worth it to have given up so much?