Reading Level: Adult
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
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.
I have to say this first and foremost:
THE HOST IS NOT TWILIGHT.
Just in case anyone out there says, "Oh, Twilight sucks so I'm not even going to bother reading The Host, because I'm sure that sucks just as bad."
The Host totally blows Twilight out of the water. Where Twilight is all fluff and bad writing, The Host is intellectual and captivating and thoughtful.
I read it when it first came out in 2008, and I loved it then. I read it again recently, and once again I was struck by how wonderful this novel is.
The uniqueness of it really strikes me. You would expect someone who started the whole vampire craze to lack imagination and stick to preapproved subjects, but Meyer does something completely different. While it is dystopian, it is not like other dystopian novels.
The relationships in the novel are so powerful, and that's the main reason I love this book so much.. Nothing is black and white.. With two "people" inhabiting one body and one mind, it's impossible to draw clear and distinct lines, especially when it comes to strong emotions such as love and hate.
This book also takes a good look at what it takes to be human. One of my favorite parts is when a character states that The Wanderer (who is not human) is more human than other actual humans. It shows that being human is more than skin deep. This is something that's hard to articulate, and yet Meyer shows it clearly through The Wanderer's interactions with the humans she lives with.
While I'll admit the book has a slow start, I would highly encourage anyone to push a little harder if they are struggling. The book picks up so suddenly, and it's impossible to put down once you get into it.