So, as promised I’m going to fill you all in on the juicy bits behind Stephanie Meyer’s book, The Host.
Overall, I thought it was a decent read. Would I give it 5 stars? No. But it wasn’t horrible. It’s incredibly long- at over 600 pages- but I flew through it pretty quickly, which is always a good sign. The story goes something like this *(spoiler alert!)*:
Earth has been invaded by body abducting alien beings. They are parasites that latch onto the human brain, and take on all thoughts and memories. A young girl, Melanie Stryder has been ‘body-snatched’ but her mind seems resistant to leave. Melanie and her alien counterpart ‘Wanderer’, are drawn into an internal war over just whom the body belongs to. Little by little, Wanderer begins to side with Melanie’s memories of her human life, and sets out on a journey to find her long lost human boyfriend Jared and her little brother Jamie that are still on the run in the Arizona desert. Meanwhile, Wanderer’s ‘seeker’ (an alien police officer if you will) is on a manhunt for Wanderer, believing she can take over Wanderer/Melanie’s body, which will then lead her to the human hideout via Melanie’s memories.
After a long initiation into human culture, including a lot of death threats from some of the shadier humans, Wanderer is at odds with the violence of the human camp and her overwhelming love for them. She even develops feelings for a human named Ian. In the end, she realizes she loves her human friends(including Melanie) more than her own life, and decides to give Melanie her body back and end her own existence.
Do you want to know the ending? *(Major Spoiler Alert!)*
Wanderer arranges to have her soul removed from Melanie’s body and buried in the Arizona desert amongst human friends. While sedated, and unconscious, the humans decide (especially Ian) that they simply cannot live without her and arrange to have another body brought in for her soul to live on in. They claim that they are selfish humans and she is too good and kind of a soul to let go of. The end, in a nutshell.
Alright, here’s what I thought:
I though it was too long for such a simple storyline. I think it could have been condensed down a bit, and still gotten the story across (however, I love details, so it would be hard for me to pick and choose which parts to toss). My love for dystopian novels drew me to this one, and while it was labeled as Meyer’s first adult novel, I think it would be better suited for young adults. It got pretty cheesy in some parts, mostly during Wanderer’s stories from her alien past(singing bat world and life as a swaying plant?). I wanted more of a romantic story as well, and while Jared seemed like he would play a major role in that(according to Melanie’s initial memories) he ended up seeming more like a jerk. Ian also played a minor romantic role, but stinking Melanie always got in the way- booo.
The Host did have me turning the pages and wanting to know more. I enjoyed the limited romantic bits, and I found myself really drawn to some of the characters and they’re individual personalities- especially Jed, the quirky leader of the human camp. The story was well thought out, and I loved the description of the human camps’ rocky purple caves in the middle of the Arizona desert (like I said- details!).
I have to say, I was pretty stoked when Wanderer was spared in the end. I actually got pretty upset and maybe even a little teary(don’t judge) when I thought she was going to die. What can I say, I’m a happy endings kind of gal.
All in all, I would recommend this book to a younger crowd, and with the attached message- this is a fun summer read, with a unique storyline, but not quite as endearing as the Twilight novels. Now I’m going to have to check out the movie…
There, that’s my review, now go read something good! -and then let me know what it was so I can read it too 😉
p.s. This was the first book review I’ve ever written!