Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Host

The Host
Stephenie Meyer
352 pages

From the inside flap:
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy.  Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged.  Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining 'wild' humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end.  Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's bod, was warned about the  challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories.  But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's Thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance.  Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding.  Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing.  When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they love.

One of the most compelling writers of our time, Stephenie Meyer brings us a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the very essence of what it means to be human.

My Thoughts:
I read this novel a while back, after I became a fan of the Twilight series.  I know that no one may believe me, but an old roommate and I found the Twilight books right before the second one, New Moon, was coming out (and before it was a huge revolution of all things vampire).  I'm not sure when The Host was published in relation to the Twilight series, but I just remember being so excited that Ms. Meyer had written another novel, adult genre this time.  I was not disappointed.
I've heard so much commentary of Stephenie Meyer's writing ability.   And I don't want to start a debate by any means, but I am so impressed with is her ability to draw you into a world you might otherwise avoid.  For instance, before Twilight I never read vampire/paranormal fantasy.  In fact, I never read Fantasy at all.  (Now it is one of my favorite genres.)  But in The Host, she takes an alien invasion and makes it seem plausible.  I noticed this first when I was attempting to explain to my dad what The Host was about.  I can't tell you the number of people who have looked at me crazily when I recommended this book.  So what's it about?  "Well, you see these things called Souls, which are actually aliens from a distant planet, invade humans and take over their brains.  But this one human Melanie and Soul Wanderer become friends in the same body as they talked to each other through thoughts."  I mean, you can see how crazy it can sound if you attempt to explain.  Finally, I normally just look at people and say, "Read it.  You'll understand."  Just as with the Twilight series, you are drawn into a world different than our own, but yet you don't feel out of place or confused.  Instead, you just keep reading to find out what happens.

I loved this book.  I would even go so far as to say that I loved this book more than Twilight (gasp!).  I know, I know.  But I loved The Host because it was written for adults.  It was like Twilight but more developed and adult-like.  The characters were very well developed.  I felt that I knew both Melanie and Wanderer, and Ms. Meyer did an excellent job of dividing a co-existing friendship.  I laughed, oh and awed, and sat on the edge of my seat at so many different parts of the novel.  It is awesome.  I've read The Host twice, and I loved it each time.  There is enough to the plot that I can reread it and not be bored.  The details only enhance the story, and I found I had missed some things the first time because I wanted to know the ending.   

I could gush on and on about this book.  The way Ms. Meyer writes from the Soul's point of view aids the theme of the essence of humanity;  The thoughts of seeing humanity through other's eyes; The many different characters and how you grow to love all of them; The unpredictable nature of romance; The surprises in the plot.  I think you can see the point.  But the best review I can give you is to go read it!  If you love Twilight, do not stop at go, do not collect $200 - go straight to the bookstore and get this book.  Pick a day to make time, put off those review books for one more day, and pick up something fun.  For those who are wary of the Twilight series and perhaps new to fantasy, I suggest you try this book out.  It was an introduction to science fiction/fantasy genre for  me, and I found something I love.  You just might as well.  Keep an open mind for the first couple of pages, and then you'll get sucked in.  I gave this book one of my rare 5/5, which means it was incredibly awesome and you all should read it and love it too.


  1. Oh man this book rocked my socks off. I was super confused for the first 10 pages but then I was blown away by it's awesome-ness. GREAT review for a phenom book. :D

  2. The Host is soooo much better than Twilight. I loved this one too.

  3. Great review... This is my favorite book EVER!!!!!