I'm not into scary things. Horror movies, creepy stories, the dark, you get the gist. What I'm trying to say is that I'm a big wimp. And the non-traditional scary things (the expanse of the ocean, the fact that we're a tiny weeny planet whirring around in a massive universe etc) make me even more scared. Basically The Handmaid's Tale petrified me and has made me an eco-warrior wreck for weeks, only wanting to force the importance of recycling and feminism on people because y'know, without these things our world could get really fucked up.
I won't lie, I picked this up because I really wanted to watch *that* TV version of the book that everyone's been talking about, but I'm also one of *those* people who has to read the book first. I'm not the only one, right?! And omg now I HAVE to watch the series asap.
The Handmaid's Tale was written over 30 years ago by Margaret Atwood, an author famous for her powerful feminist works. Admittedly this is the first of hers that I've read, but it won't be the last. The book is set in a future in which all the plastic in the oceans has made people a lot less fertile (apparently this really is a thing that's starting to take place). Food is being rationed, and men have absolutely taken control. Women wear different coloured clothes according to their status: red is for handmaids. These ladies are effectively being used as surrogates. They live in the same house as an important man and his wife, and have sex (with the wife present) once a month. It's all very clinical and their lives are incredibly restricted.
Our handmaid, or at least, the handmaid that tells the story, gets put in a difficult position. She's forced to bend and break the rules, which could result in her death (or being shipped out to the colonies to clear up nuclear waste - I'm unsure which is worse). This book was so intense and gripping and downright 'oh my GOSH we need to sort out our planet so that this doesn't happen'. Basically I think we all need to read this, asap.