So a little commentary before we get this review going. I went to see The Host in theaters on Easter and I was just really confused. I read the book when I was 18 (which was 5 years ago) so I really couldn’t remember a lot of the finer details. When we saw the movie I was just thought “this is it?!” Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a really good movie but I just didn’t understand how that’s all the portrayed from a 620 page book. I felt it lacked depth and I was a little upset about the lack of character development. I also found it slightly anti-climatic but hey, it didn’t totally disappoint me. However, I found reading the book afterwards cleared a lot of things up for me. So if you intend to see it and don’t want to be really confused you may want to read the book or have someone who has explain it to you. Anyways, moving right along…
Summary from Goodreads:
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
Hmm. This book was interesting. It was good in places and in others I was struggling. For a 620 page book you would think it would have a lot of action. Yeah, no, not really. It took almost 100 pages to really get off the ground, so to speak, and once it did it didn’t really hit the ground running. There were some really intense scenes but overall it was a book more about relationships than anything else. I did enjoy the message of acceptance and learning to coexist. I felt Meyer portrayed everyone’s reaction to Wanda (Wanderer) pretty accurately. I mean, if my boyfriend came back from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” I wouldn’t be so welcoming either. In fact, I’d probably clock him out of fear (sorry Andy). Anyways, the other problem I really had with the story were quite a few plot holes. For example, how in the hell did the souls (aliens) get into a human body in the first place? If it takes an incision in the back of the head, then uh, how did the souls, who look like really pretty centipedes (I guess) do this?! Yeah, I don’t know either. Also, if these souls care so much about their bodies, why do they have unhealthy food? I guess it wouldn’t really make a difference since they could just heal away a heart attack but still. I guess there are probably more but those two things really screamed at me.
Now for all the good things. I thought this book was pretty clever. At the time it was written Meyer was basking in the vampire craze, as were a lot of the YA/Adult world. I think she did a really good job showing she could write something that was pretty good but didn’t feature vampires. Granted, it wasn’t a perfect novel but it wasn’t terrible either. Romance, my favorite part. OMG I LOVE IAN HE IS SO PRECIOUS AND SWEET AND KIND. Okay, Ian is so nice, he may be totally monstrous in the beginning but after a few chapters I just wanted to kiss him. He totally protects Wanda from the other mean humans, including Melanie’s boyfriend and ass-extraordinaire, Jared. Oh, if I haven’t mentioned Wanda is the alien who inhabited Melanie’s body. Normally the person who owned the body vacates their mind but well, Melanie isn’t giving up so easily. Anyways, Jared, ugh. I didn’t like him. Like I said, I wouldn’t be happy if my boyfriend came back with an alien in his head but COME ON. Jared is totally barbaric at times. Maybe that behavior is how he survived for so long but seriously, is there a need to be so cruel? Jerk. If Max Irons wasn’t so good-looking AND they hadn’t played down how much of a jerk Jared was in the movie, I would’ve been throwing popcorn. I am all over team Ian. He is nice and kind and gives Wanda the chance she actually deserves.
Wanda! Melanie! I loved their inner banter and turmoil. It was a little depressing at time but I enjoy Melanie put Wanda in her place. Especially when it came to Jared. It was entertaining. They both had their moments where I just thought OMG shut up and stop whining but hey they were faced with extinction so I can’t be too hard on them. I really appreciated the bond they formed too. It was nice to see that they could understand each others despair.
Overall I think there was great character development in this book. I wish the plot had been a little more action packed and a little less dense but I would still recommend it. It was a fun and different story. It was something new to get me out of the all-encompassing vampires and dystopian worlds I’ve been living in.
If you have anything you’d like to add, leave me a comment! 🙂 I love talking to you all.