Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Release Date: May 6th 2008
Series: Stand Alone Possible series
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love." Source Goodreads
I recently read The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and I'm not ashamed to say the reason I bought this book is because I loved the Twilight Saga. I am ashamed to say that this book has sat on my shelf for the past two years. I tried to read it last year but after 17 pages I gave up and left it to collect dust. That was until one of my youtube subscribers and online friend repeatedly begged me to read it. Boy am I glad that she did. I loved it!
The Host is a science fiction, alien invasion, apocalyptic love story, which so far holds the perfect balance between romance and action. Think Animorphs (a very old Nickelodeon TV series) without the animal morphing, and rather than slug like creepy ear invaders think beautiful glowing creatures that attach themselves to the human spinal column.
Through this story we follow the two main characters Wander and Melanie, though predominately Wander, as they learn to adapt to a new world. These two characters share the same body when Melanie refused to leave after Wander took hold, and because of this The Host holds the best character dynamics I have ever read. Wander had such a strong but also curious and easily influenced nature, whereas Melanie was just purely brave, strong and very determined. To say that I adored both these characters equally would be an understatement. It also wasn't as cut dry as good guy, bad guy, which was a refreshing take.
I wish that a year ago when I originally picked up this book, I'd just stuck with it, or at least read the blurb, because The Host was definitely my type of book. I loved the character development, and the ease of two uniquely different voices/characters sharing the same body. I loved the introduction of new characters, some of which you feel like you've know for years, and some of which you wish you'd never met. I enjoyed the plot development that caught me hook, line and sinker and when on the rare occasion that I began to loose attention Stephenie Meyer turns a corner and pulled me right back into the depth of things. The host also raised some strong emotions at times and also some fears. The scene setting was so perfect and well executed that I felt claustrophobic numerous times, and though it's not the best feeling I loved how the writing was the cause of these.
And finally I don't think we could end this review without mentioning the romance, though it's probably going to be extremely difficult without containing spoilers, but I'll give it my best go. There were a few interlinked romances drifting around in this book that I as a reader found very difficult to choose between, and rather than a love triangle we ended up with something closely resembling a love square. In the end I decided not to choose and instead appreciated all the romance. The relationship building was perfect, with a slight bit of justified insta-love, but also the perfect amount of anticipation.
Overall just perfect. So why only 4 stars rather than 5? Because one choice at the end of the book didn't quite fit with me. I can't mention what it is because that would be a huge spoiler, but I'm sure if you've read the host you'll know what I mean. Other than that a fantastic read that I would recommend to everyone, especially those who didn't really care for twilight.