We meet Jonas and are slowly introduced to "the community" and the ways in which it functions. At first, we might be enticed, but it soon becomes clear that it's not such a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Suspense builds as we anticipate this mysterious "Ceremony of Twelve" in December, and Act I ends at the moment that Jonas is named The Receiver.
Jonas meets with The Giver and starts to receive memories. As time goes on, his eyes are opened to both the joys and horrors of the past, and he grows increasingly more isolated. His relationships with his family and friends become strained, but at the same time he gets closer and closer to The Giver and to Gabriel. When he watches his father murder the baby twin on video, Jonas is forever changed.
Once Jonas and The Giver start hatching their plot, we move into Act III. Once again we have the same old suspense-building, fist-clenching tension, and the whole shebang ends with the walking-uphill-in-the-snow climax.