Published in: 2008
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 1 in The Host series (which seems to be the only book in the series too?)
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.
This was the oldest book on my very long to-read list on goodreads, and I had been meaning to get around to it since, oh, about 2009. Go me.
It took a very bad day at work, a butt-load of pain killers and a hot-water bottle (read: women times. Urgh) to get me to crack open this book, finally, but boy, was I glad to do so. It was awesome. I devoured about 300 pages of this while I was lying in bed in mass amounts of pain (I get awesome woman-times with stomach-pains that last around 20ish hours, so reading a novel from cover-to-cover during this time is not unheard of).
The thing I love about Stephenie’s writing is that it flow so, so well. You get really sucked into the story, into the characters- I teared up multiple times, because I felt so bad for each character’s situation. People rag on Stephenie and her Twilight series, but she is honestly a decent author and if you take the time to read her work, you realise how talented a writer she is. Not the story itself, but how well the characters are developed, how easy the book is to read, how the story flows along. It’s a pleasure to read her work, and it’s why I often have read and re-read her books in mere hours, even though they are all monsters (like 400+ pages each).
Oh, and the story. Right. So Melanie is a really cool character and I feel so bad for her and for Wanderer, who is currently in her body and using it to live, and poor Wanderer didn’t exactly ask to be put in Mel’s body, but they both eventually make the best of the situation. It’s not often that you sympathise with both the human character AND the invading alien living inside the human, but Stpehenie has somehow made it happen in this book, and I love it.
Now I just need to watch the movie (which I have brought but haven’t gotten around to watching yet, as I don’t want the movie to ruin the perfection of the book! But I must see it still). Also need to start praying to the book gods that Stephenie gets around to actually writing and publishing the second book of the series- it says due out sometime 2015, which is a long damn time between books, given the first one would have been written 7 years before the second.
The Host rating: 10/10. Absolute perfection.
Would I re-read it? Hells yeah I will. It was a fantastic book to take my mind off the pains in my stomach-area and still kept my attention even though I was beyond dead-tired when I was reading it
Who would I recommend it to? It is written and aimed at teenagers, clearly. But I would give it a shot even if you weren’t in that age group. I also didn’t find this to be as much a girl’s book as the Twilight series. Perhaps it was and I didn’t notice, but I felt that it was more about the relationship between Melanie (the human) and Wanderer (the alien living in Melanie’s body and controlling her) and the effects this has on their combined life and those around them. Yes, it’s a love triangle/square, but that was just what happened, it wasn’t the sole point of the book.