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 body, 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 thought, 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 both love.
I remember reading this book right after finishing the Twilight series and loving it all the same. When I picked up “The Host” to read, I wasn’t sure it would capture me as much as Twilight had done( if it wasn’t still obvious, I love the Twilight series) , and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Well, I was wrong.
To me, “The Host” was a real page-turner and quite an emotional roller coaster ride. Stephenie Meyer was able to create another beautiful world with alluring and interesting characters that lured me in completely.
This is a sci-fi kind of story, totally different from Meyer’s previous work, and I was pleased to see that Meyer shifts from one genre to another with great ease and she always holds the reader’s attention till the end. Or at least, this is what happens to me when I read her books and “The Host” was no exception.
As far as the plot goes, I found it to be a really interesting one and the kind that makes you ponder on a lot of matters, like could there be some alien creatures out there and could they be all evil or could they be divided between good and evil ones? Questions can arise especially when we get to meet the main character of the story, Wanderer , and see the sharp contrast between her and the other “souls” who are inhabiting the world. As it often happens with a lot of my favorite books, what holds my attention the most while reading are the characters and Wanderer is that kind of character you want to stand by and be friends with. She is the soul who’s inhabiting Melanie Stryder’s body and she finds herself in a unique situation where Melanie still exists in that very body. So they both have to cope with the experience of being two in one, and this isn’t an easy task for them to accomplish. Wanderer is a kind soul, literally in this case. She radiates goodness from the very beginning and you can’t help but want to help her while she goes through that emotional turmoil, made all the more unique by having to come to grips with both her feelings and the ones of Melanie. I loved the courage she showed in the most dreary situations and the determination with which she wanted to prove to be good to the family and friends of Melanie’s. She never gave up, despite being often denied, and I never stopped cheering for her.
This is a book that made me hold my breath in a lot of scenes, especially during those ones where I was seriously afraid Melanie’s relatives could endanger Wanderer’s life. Getting to their heart wasn’t an easy feat for Wanda ( this is how people call her in the book) and it was interesting to see how kindness and persistence were two key factors that helped smooth the rancor and resentment.
There are some interesting scenes between Melanie/Wanda, Jared( Melanie’s lover) and Ian O’ Shea, that set up the romance part of the book. I was curious to see how Stephenie was going to handle a love story different from the one between Edward and Bella in Twilight, with which it was bound to be compared. I wanted to see if I could feel the love between the characters as I did while reading about Edward and Bella and, despite not being the same of course, I wasn’t disappointed. There are some moving scenes in the book that tugged at my heart, especially between Wanda and Ian, and I became a huge supporter of their love story. Furthermore, the doubt that lingered while witnessing the unfolding of their romance was whether Ian was in love with the real Wanda or with the combination of her and Melanie. The answer to that was given through scenes that were so touching that they made me wish Ian was real. *big happy sigh*
Another thing I loved about this book is that it wasn’t predictable to me. There are a lot of twists and turns throughout the story and personally I didn’t see that kind of ending coming. Needless to say, it was a pleasurable reading.
As far as Stephenie Meyer’s writing style goes, I have to say that I enjoy it immensely. I did with the Twilight series and I didn’t change my opinion after reading “The Host”. It might not be Shakespeare, but she has a way of conveying emotions to the reader that make her characters unforgettable. The success her books have speaks for itself. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel and I’m anxiously waiting for it.
I give this book 4 of 5 hearts.
And now some of my favorite passages :
“You’ll never know how much time you’ll have.”
“I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian. And that will never change, no matter what I might become.
” What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it because it was exclusive and capricious? The souls offered love and acceptance to all. Did I crave a greater challenge? …Or was it simply better somehow? Because these humans hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?”
“Ian stood above me, his chest heaving with exertion and fury. For a second he turned away and put the door back in place with one swift wrench. And then he was glowering again.
I took a deep breath and rolled up onto my knees , holding my hands out, palms up wishing that some magic would appear in them. Something I could give him, something I could say. But my hands were empty.
“You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me.” His eyes blazed–burning brighter than I had ever seen them, blue fires.”
“I’d loved in so many bodies, but never one I loved like this. Never one that I craved in this way. Of course, this would be the one I’d have to give up.”
“Strange world, isn’t it”
” If I was given the choice between having the world back and having you, I wouldn’t be able to give you up.”
And to quench a bit of our thirst, “The Host” movie is coming out next year! *big squee* I love the actors they’ve chosen and I’m sure they’ll all do a great job!
I leave you with 2 newly released stills from the movie. I hope it will be a big hit at the box office, because, in my opinion, the story is really worth it 🙂