Author: Stephenie Meyer
Reason for Reading: for fun
Summary: Parasitic aliens who call themselves 'souls' have invaded Earth and taken over most of the human race. Once a 'soul' is placed in a human host, the alien takes over and suppresses the human's mind. When Wanderer awakes in her new body, she finds that her human host isn't so easily overcome.
Melanie Stryder is a feisty young woman who refuses to leave behind her loved ones (who are in hiding). She will do anything to get them back, but must rely on Wanderer to help her.
Christine's Review: This is Meyer's first adult book and I had high expectations. After reading her addictive young adult Twilight series (over 2k pages in just a few days) I knew she had the capability of writing a compelling story. I was not disappointed. This book starts off slow but after 100 pages or so I was completely engrossed in the story. Although the book has a sci-fi element, the underlying themes are friendship, sacrifice and love. The characters are well developed, multi-faceted and interesting.
There are three main parts to this book. In the first part, Wanda (as she is eventually called) is implanted into Melanie's body. Although she has lived for thousands of years and on many different planets, this is her first time on Earth. She has acccess to her host's (Melanie) memories, and experiences human emotions (hunger, pain, love, etc) and she is overwhelmed. She is also overwhelmed by Melanie, who refuses to disappear. Wanda is working with her Seeker (soul who tries to track humans, think of them like police) and lets her know about Melanie's younger brother and lover. This is the slowest part of the book.
In the second part of the book, Wanda agrees to work with Melanie to find Mel's younger brother (Jamie) and lover (Jared) when she realizes she too loves them and wants them to be safe (even though she has never met them, she experiences Melanie's feelings toward them). After locating them (along with Mel's Uncle Jeb and a small colony of human survivors) Wanda faces a tough road of discrimination and hatred when the humans believe she is trying to lead the Seekers to their hiding place. Wanda is eventually accepted by most of the humans and finds herself in a love quadrangle between Melanie, Jared, Ian (a man in the camp) and herself. This was my favorite section of the book. There were elements of adventure, suspense and heartbreaking scenes filled with raw emotion. (yes, I teared up a few parts!)
In the last part of 'The Host' Wanda must decide whether to reveal her biggest secret to the humans, and decide how much she is willing to help humans in their plight to take back earth. As any of you who have read the Twilight series know, Meyer loves a happy ending and this book was no exception. It wrapped up a little to 'tidy' for my taste but she did leave a door open to a sequel (I'm not sure if she has one in the works yet).
Overall, this was an interesting, heart warming book that will make you think twice about humanity.
Book Junkie's Grade: B+