The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication date: May 6th, 2008
Number of pages: 619
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
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 first read this book just after it came out. I was over in Nashville at the time on one of my few trips to the U.S and discovered the book at Barnes and Noble. I had heard about the book through Stephenie's website and I felt it sounded interesting.
I was fascinated by the idea of aliens aka Souls invading earth and seeing things from one of those Souls perspective and how one would deal with, not only a resistant Host, but also how the world worked in this book.
This is so unlike her Twilight series. Don't get me wrong --- I liked her Twilight series like a lot of people, but this book. Wow. It totally sets it apart from anything else. The world building, the characters and relationships. The world in itself was so... magical. So real and honest. Mature and addicting. Enticing and breath-taking.
While originally it took me a little bit to get into the book, but mainly because I was a little confused in the beginning. The moment that Wanda found herself amongst the caves, now that was the moment everything began to click into place. From that moment on I was obsessed with this book.
Maybe we were meant to be connecting with Melanie more than Wanda. Maybe we were meant to be caring more about Melanie and Jared, or her relationships with others, but for me... this whole book, I connected with Wanda more than I did Melanie (not to say I didn't love Mel, too) but I don't know ---- Maybe it was because we were in Wanda's POV. Maybe it was because we were hearing and seeing her thoughts and experiences (apart from the flashbacks) that I connected with her the most. I loved how sensitive, compassionate, vulnerable and honest she was. I loved how she didn't want to be the bad guy in this situation, even though most people treated her like one. There were so many things I loved about her. She was the sort of character you could connect and bond with. Someone who you could see from a different perspective. We were used to seeing an alien who started to understand the human race, and sympathized with them.
Melanie is also someone who you feel for. She is a human who has been on the run for years until she meets Jared, another human who takes her and her little brother, Jamie in. Before they are able to find santuary or others like them, Melanie is then forced to do something she hoped she never would have to: leave her brother and Jared. It's survival for the fittest, and she does indeed survive. She is lucky that she had a Soul such as Wanderer who felt things for the human race and for her, Jared and Jamie. Together they discover the true meaning of humanity. Not only does Melanie come to understand who Wanda is, and love her like a sister --- but Wanda also comes to understand more about humans and humanity than they were led to believe. Not all humans are destructive and vicious. Sometimes, they just are there to survive.
There are many characters Stephenie introduces us to in this book. Not all survive, but each and every one of the human has purpose and end up meaning something to Wanda one way or another. Some of them bad. And a lot of them are good. They too begin to understand that not all Souls are there to take away.. some of them are there to give.. and to understand. To love.
Wanda too finds herself falling in love..with a human no less. While she may be confused given the body she is in and the memories that come with that, but too, the Soul comes to care and fall in love with one of the human survivors who may be the only person who understands who SHE is, and not just appreciate her because of whose body she wears.
Ian O'Shea is someone who gains a new understanding of what it really means to be a Soul. What she has been through, where she has been. That she may be more human than some of them are. This relationship between them is my otp of the book. I don't know, but I just fell in love with them because the sort of love that they have... that Ian feels for her is something that does not come across everyday. A love that crosses all boundaries, all laws of nature.. of everything they thought they knew or were told. He didn't care.
Ladies and Gents, this is a true love story that will warm your heart. I know it did mine.
All in all, this was such a fantastic novel that I would recommend to anyone who loves Sci Fi, Romance, or even just want to read something different. Don't let the fact that SM wrote it put you off, because this is one of a kind, rare sort of story that I think everyone should bare witness to. The story where you would have no idea that it is written by the same author as the best-selling Twilight series if you didn't already know her name.
Stephenie, write quickly, eh? I need to sequel STAT, especially after recently seeing the movie. I'll say something quickly about the movie.
It was everything I could have wanted (sure, there was some scenes I wished could have been in the movie) and the best adaption I have seen of a book for such a long time.
Rating: 5 out of 5