Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Published: 2008
Pages: 620
Chapters: 61
Pages per Chapter (on average): 10+
Date Started: Jan. 20-----Date Finished: Jan. 23
My Reading Speed:155 pages a day, or 15+ chapters a day.
The Main Characters: Technically you might say that there is only one physical main character, but inside this body are two individual minds who are very unique entities. One is Melanie Stryder, the previous owner of her own body, and Wanderer, the parasite like "soul" that has taken over Melanie's body as her own. Wanderer uses Melanie as a host, but Melanie can still make her voice heard inside their shared head. It's a little confusing, I know. Does that mean these are actually 2 characters or 1? No, definitely 2.
My Brief Synopsis: The story obviously takes place sometime in the future. It's a little bit sci-fi, because these aliens from outer space come to Earth and use the humans as hosts, hence the title. These parasites, Souls, have invaded many other planets in the universe, and Earth is like a new acquisition for them. There is some resistance among the humans, but only few groups; most everyone has succumbed to the Souls. Until the soul known as Wanderer becomes Melanie. Wanderer starts having visions of Melanie's loved ones, her young brother Jamie and her true love Jared, and starts feeling a similar yearning for them that goes against all logic. So, with Mel's vague directions, Wanderer searches the desert, almost dying from dehydration, to find these two people her body is so magnetized to.
The Conflicts: I don't want to reveal too much of the story, but Wanderer and Melanie do eventually find Jamie and Jared in a sort of underground compound that houses the few remaining "true" humans. Unfortunately, since Wanderer is one of the enemy, most of the small community despise her, even her love Jared, who can't possibly love Melanie with something so alien inside her. It's of course extremely complicated, but some people, like Jamie and her crazy but wise and insightful Uncle Jeb, know there is good in Wanderer, or Wanda as they call her later on, so they do their best to integrate her into the human community.
My General Comments: I loved it. Absolutely loved it. It was so incredible, the story, the characters, the very feelings the words trigger inside. Granted, the beginning is a little confusing, but I suppose that's the mood Stephanie Meyer wanted to open up with. It's just a completely sensational read. It's like Twilight in so many ways, with so much action and romance, but it was so totally unique. I've never read anything like it.
My Favorite Part: It's difficult to come up with a specific favorite part, but I like it whenever Wanderer is around her favorite people, like Jeb, Jamie, Jared, the resident Doc, and a man named Ian, who seems to appreciate and love "Wanda" for the seperate person she is, apart from her Melanie body. That makes it a funny love triangle, or rectangle or something, because Mel loves Jared, so Wanda is attracted to him too, but Ian loves Wanda, and she has some feelings for Ian, though Mel isn't comfortable with that because it's still technically her body. It's so confusing and difficult, but honestly, what kind of good romance isn't?
My Favorite Things About the Book: I really liked that I had such a long time to read this book, since it was so long. I also like how the book made me think about different things, like how it must be like to share someone's mind, (as in literally), or to be in a different body so many times but keeping one solid identity. I guess it makes people appreciate their given bodies more, and thier minds.
A Personal Shout Out to Stephenie Meyer: You have such an amazing gift with words, especially with those that produce such strong feelings in your characters. I cared so much for Wanda and for everything to turn out alright. The story is so emotionally involving that I felt like Wanda was really 3 people inside, including me. Your writing style just does that, pulls readers into the action and leaves them gasping for breath for more. I am so glad I decided to read this, to be a part of the adventure. Such incredible food for thought, too.

Here's the link to The Host's Wikipedia Article.
Below is the Stephenie Meyer's website:
What is your favorite part? If you haven't read this book, sorry for all the spoilers, but you can comment and say if this book review was helpful. If you have read this book, please give me a comment or email me so we can discuss it. This would be the closest I've ever gotten to a book club, you know.


Brian said...

Sci-fi. That sounds much more interesting to me than Twilight. I didn't like Twilight that much, and new moon was horrible. This sounds like some much more interesting and less romantic work from Myers.

Magenta said...

I'm glad you're interested Brian, though I must warn you that the book really is huge, and it's just about as romantic as Twilight. I don't know if you like that sort of thing, so just a heads up, OK?

J.N. Future Author said...

I still have not read this! how could I be so shallow!

maybe I will check the library....