The Host by Stephenie Meyer

This was my book club pick. We were supposed to have book club yesterday and go to a pumpkin patch, but one of the gals was having a personal crisis and another one cancelled last minute, so we decided to reschedule. Which was good, because as of yesterday afternoon, I still had about 250 pages to go.

Not anymore! I blew through the rest of this book laying on the couch with an orange-and-white cat snoozing on my tummy. I may have closed my eyes, too, after about 50 pages, but I was awoken by the 7-year-old and his friend storming into the house demanding food and drink.

I finished before bedtime last night, after taking a break for dinner, putting some finishing touches on the bathroom which I painted BY MYSELF this weekend, thank you very much, and putting the kids to bed. Same couch, same cat, napping.

Anyway, now for the review!

Having read two of the four Twilight books, I was familiar with Meyer’s writing style. I had heard about this book and probably would have read it eventually, but it got bumped to the top of my list due to book club. It was a little slow-going for me at first, but I’d say about 100 pages in, I got hooked. It has a very interesting and quite disturbing premise: a species of aliens known as Souls have come and basically taken over the Earth by doing some kind of Invasion of the Body Snatchers type thing with dead human bodies. Humans are “hosts” for these aliens, and aside from a few pockets of “rebels” who are in hiding, humanity as we know it has been wiped out completely. Melanie Stryder has been occupied by Wanderer but refuses to go quietly. Although she has effectively been killed, Wanderer can see her thoughts and actually hear her protests. Pretty weird stuff. It’s like the next level of schizo. Bona fide voices in your head.

What makes this whole story work is that Wanderer, known affectionately as Wanda, develops fondness for humans, and works to find Melanie’s boyfriend, Jared, and her brother, Jamie. Through Melanie, Wanda develops feelings for both of them that are both separate from Melanie’s and part of her.

At the end the door is left wide open for a second book, and as we know Meyer has already written a hugely successful four-part series, I’m sure it’s forthcoming. I also hear that a movie is in the works. I’ll be on board for both; at its core, The Host is an examination of how emotion transcends barriers and, not to sound cheesy, but love prevails over adversity.


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