While I was in sunny Jamaica I managed to read 3.5 books. Yes I'm a dork, yes I'm ok with that.
The first book I read was Ender's Game. I read this book for the first time back in 2003 but having just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy last month (which has a similar story) I thought it was time to give Ender a re-read.
You cannot help but be completely in love with Ender. You'll want to pick him up and hug him and tell him he's so great and it'll all be ok. What a little trooper!
The book is based, much like The Hunger Games, in a bit of a post-apocalyptic North America. Though more like the world was attacked 70 years ago, things changed, and now the world might be attacked again soon. Enter child soldier training. The government tests all children and those deemed gifted are sent off to battle school. Battle school is in space and houses training for all gifted children from ages ~7-16. Mostly boys, mostly brilliant. Ender's parents have two children older than Ender who were deemed quite gifted but not quite right and so they are given permission to have a third child in hopes that it will fit the mold. The concept of being a 'Third' is quite a privilege and also a large target to have on your back.
Anyway, Ender is a Third, he is outrageously smart and is chosen to head off to battle school. The book chronicles his time there and how he attempts to outsmart every large and small challenge put in front of him.
The book is quite sci-fi focused but it has some reality in it given that it's based in our existing world and even though he is in space for a large part of the book he's in the school and not floating around in a space suit. Really, the battle school could just be down the street. Towards the end of the book it gets a little more space-like with travel to other planets etc. However, even with all of this going on the book really centres around Ender, how he's feeling and how his brain works. It's very emotional and I found the most intriguing part of the book was the relationships that Ender built and maintained. Relationships with his family, classmates, teachers, and government officials.
If you're not into sci-fi I think you should still give this book a try as it's very well written and a great story. If you are into sci-fi you will love this.