|The Host by Stephenie Meyer|
May 6, 2008
Little Brown and Company
Source: Personal purchase
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.
I finally read this book right before the movie came out. I admit that this book had been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust. I also admit to enjoying the Twilight books, so I was not opposed to Ms. Meyer's writing or style. But I'm not a huge Sci-Fi person, and the premise of this book just did not appeal to me, despite having friends tell me how much they liked it. So I procrastinated...and procrastinated...and procrastinated. It took the movie and a Stephenie Meyer event I attended to kick me in the butt and move it up my reading pile. And once I read it, what do I have to say now?
I LOVED IT! This was one of those books where I just shook my heads and thought to myself, "What took me so long?" This was a beautifully written book, exposing the many layers of love and humanity. The size of the book is intimidating, and it starts a bit slowly. But I found reading it worth the time and for me the reading process quickly sped up as I became more and more engaged and invested with the characters and plot. I found the plot unique and engaging, the character development well fleshed-out, the multi-layers of love development thoughtful, and the analysis of real humanity beautifully examined.
I also admit to not being a fan of love triangles. They tend to be exhausting, unrealistic, selfish, and overly dramatic. But what I loved about this story is that it really wasn't a love triangle, not in the simplistic sense of the term. I don't want to spoil the plot, but I found the whole thought process and relationship between Melanie and Wanderer fascinating. I really found their relationship the most engaging. Then with a love interest or two thrown in there, and the confusion over two minds sharing one body, the plot really thickened, but again, with an imaginative process. And the love discussed wasn't limited to just romantic love - there's also friendship, family, forgiveness, camaraderie, community, sacrifice, and many levels of love in between these. This is one of the things and subjects I was most impressed with in this novel.
Bottomline: I loved this book and added it as one of my favorites. I have also listened to the audiobook (because I needed to read/hear the book twice in a row, it was so good), and found the narrator quite engaging, so if you'd prefer the audio-version over text, I highly recommend it. This is one of those books you don't want to pre-judge. Perhaps you disliked Twilight, perhaps you hate love triangles, or perhaps you have an aversion to Sci-Fi. I would still recommend giving this book a chance. I'm glad I did.
(Currently on sale for $3.99 on kindle)