(Unintentionally there will most likely be a theme this year since I've gotten hooked on dystopian novels.)
Honestly, I am a little embarrassed to put this as my first book read of the year. Hasn't everyone already read this book? Why the heck am I just getting on the band wagon?? Truthfully, my husband convinced me to read this (remember, book snob here.) I like my fair share of action novels don't get me wrong, but I am a girl here. I do like some romance now and then! I was truthfully worried it would be all about war and if that is the total premise of a book it can it a little boring. Anyway, I'm getting off track. The book is set in a futuristic Earth. A young boy named Ender (and when I say young I mean young, like 6) who is a genius, might possibly be Earth's only hope from being totally destroyed. He is sent to battle school in outer space to train and become the next commander who will fight the alien race, the buggers. The buggers have already attacked Earth twice and the world fears that it is only a matter of time before there is a third war.
The book was surprisingly really good (for the record, it is pretty hard to get a 5 star anything out of me.) It moves fairly fast in the beginning. Though I felt like it got slow a little past the middle. The characters will catch you off guard, at least they did for me. Most of the main characters are children but they all have very adult feelings. For instance, many of the children have violent tendencies. Which is freakish but intriguing. The writer did a good job in creating the main character's persona. You sympathize with the struggles he goes through, especially knowing that he is so young. However, my absolute favorite part of this book was the ending. I wasn't expecting a twist. In fact there is a double twist ;). It was a perfect ending for a book like this. I like "realistic" endings, meaning there isn't just a happily ever after (you probably figured that out about me when you saw that one of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks.) Ender's Game ends leaving you questioning all of the perceptions you developed throughout the book and leaves you thinking about it long after it's done.
But here's the deal. I couldn't stand the amount of profanity in this novel. Which is kind of ironic...because Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books ever. I don't know. There was just something about the way the author wrote the foul language that drove me nuts. Almost like he was trying too hard to use the words. It became obnoxious (and it was a little obnoxious because the author is Mormon and swearing is a big no no.) For that reason none of my children will be allowed to read this book until they are much older. I also found his sense of humor crude. I'm no mother Theresa but there comes a point where crudeness becomes... what's the word? Gross? Don't get me wrong, there isn't a sex scene or anything like that in this book, but some of the situations seemed uncomfortable because they were children. My only other major complaint is that the book became pretty predictable (aside from the ending.)
The story line is compelling and for that reason this is a book is definitely one you should add to your list.
Have you ever read Ender's Game?
What would you rate it?