** spoiler alert **
I may revisit my rating later. Right now I will go with 3 1/2 stars.
Great writing. Finished it in one sitting.
However this is really just a simplified and shallower YA version of the thoroughly devastating masterpiece 1984. We are spoon fed the message through "the Giver" who is a teacher figure speaking directly to the protagonist and the audience.
However the whole message is rather muddy in the end--very different from 1984 which pulls no punches when Orwell writes "If you want to picture the future, picture a boot stomping on a human face--forever."
I also found the whole societal set up and total absence of explanation for many key elements (eg. how do you make a whole society color blind, or even why?) annoying as it came off to me as a plot device to make a point.